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Donalds cruises to District 19 victory

By NATHAN MAYBERG / nmayberg@breezenewspapers.com - | Nov 3, 2020

In the race for the 19th District of the House of Representatives, State Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Naples) coasted to victory over Cindy Banyai (D-Fort Myers) tonight.

Donalds, who also works as the associate vice-president of investments at Moran Wealth Management in Naples, won election with 60 percent of the electorate in Lee County (202,140 votes) and 65 percent of the electorate (69,156 votes) in Collier County.

Donalds said “Republican voters are doing the job.” He said the Republican turnout showed that “Southwest Florida is a conservative place.” Donalds said voters wanted a “proven conservative in Congress.”

Donalds pledged to “clean our water” and bring conservative values such as “following the constitution,” pursuing a balanced budget and “paying down our debt.”

Banyai, who runs a consulting company and teaches government and political science courses at Florida Gulf Coast University, made COVID-19 a top issue in the race. Banyai had criticized Donalds for campaigning maskless. Donald then tested positive for the coronavirus right before a private event for President Donald Trump in Fort Myers last month.

Banyai said she was “proud of the work my team has done.” Banyai pulled in about 40 percent of the vote in Lee and approximately 35 percent of the vote in Collier. She said she wanted the electorate to know “there are people out there fighting for our community.” She hopes the voters see her as a fighter.

“There’s a lot of people who believe all politics are bought and sold,” Banyai said. “There is an alternative.”

All election results are unofficial until certified.