B.A. in Finance and Marketing, Florida State University
KEY HEALTH LINK
Donalds is a survivor of COVID-19, although he never had symptoms. He chaired the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee of the FL House Commerce Committee.
Florida State House of Representatives (80th district), 2016-2020
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Donalds bested eight candidates in the Republican primary. In August 2020, anonymous text messages were sent to voters in the district wrongly claiming that Donalds was dropping out of the race, which he denied. Donalds ran against Democrat Cindy Banyai in the general election.
Francis Rooney (R), retired
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
Florida State House of Representatives (80th district)
Donalds career path has included working in the finance, insurance, and banking industries in Southwest Florida. Donalds first ran for office in 2012 when he lost in the FL-19 Congressional primary to Trey Radel. Donalds ran for and was elected to the Florida House in 2016, where he served through 2020. In the FL House, Donalds served on the Education, Ways & Means, Appropriations Committess and chaired the Commerce Committee.
On The Issues
Donalds has not been supportive of mask mandates and photographed in crowds without a mask. In October 2020, Donalds tested positive for COVID-19 after being tested prior to a campaign rally for President Trump. although he never had symptoms. He has defended President Trump's response to COVID-19.
Donalds wants the ACA repealed and replaced. He wants tax incentives for individuals to purchase insurance and the ability to purchase insurance across state lines: "Obamacare is a thinly veiled attempt at a government takeover of the health insurance delivery system, ultimately leading to a single-payer socialist system. In order to lower costs in the health care market, we must provide health care tax benefits and incentives to individuals, all while removing the current tax treatments from businesses. Our federal government must also use the Commerce Clause as fully intended, by opening up the purchase of health insurance across state lines. State reciprocity allows for citizens to seek their own doctors and care, allowing the free market to thrive and work as intended. This one action of legalizing state reciprocity would greatly reduce the problem of un-insurability with pre-existing conditions and would lower costs tremendously."
In 1997, Donalds was arrested for possession of marijuana. The case was ultimately put into pre-trial diversion, with Donalds paying a fine of $150.
Donalds has stated that he does not believe that marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. However, while in the state legislature, Donalds voted in favor of SB182, a bill which legalized the use of medical marijuana by smoking.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
In 2019, Donalds cosponsored HB875, an unsuccessful bill which would have created a statewide task force on opioid abuse. In 2019, he sponsored a successful telehealth bill that allowed for controlled substances (opioid recovery treatments) to be prescribed under specified conditions. In 2017, Donalds sponsored HB1, a bill which would appropriate funding for private school vouchers for students that have been the victims of bullying. In 2020, Donalds voted in favor of the successful bill that expanded the duties of the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention and instructing more promotion of evidence-based suicide deterrents in certain locations.
In an August 2020 tweet detailing some of his reasoning for supporting President Trump in his re-election bid, Donalds stated that he was "supporting the guy that will... cut prescription drug costs."
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
Donalds is pro-life and has received a 100% rating from Florida Right to Life, as well as an endorsement from Florida Family Action. Donalds has stated that, "I understand an abortion has countless victims. I have voted for and strongly support laws requiring parental consent for abortions, funding for pregnancy resource centers, and increased medical restrictions on abortion clinics – but these are simply not enough. We must turn the culture in our country against the killing of innocent unborn children and I pledge to always be a strong voice and advocate for life."
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
In 2018, Donalds was honored by the Florida Council on Aging for his work in preventing elder abuse in financial transactions. He also sponsored a successful resolution of the FL House in 2017 designating March 2017 as "Kidney Awareness Month." He was an original sponsor of successful bill H0389, which created a pathway for collaborative pharmacy practice agreement between pharmacist and physician.
DID YOU KNOW?
Donalds volunteers as a coach for youth football and basketball teams. Donalds’ wife, Erika, is a former Collier County School Board member active within the national school choice movement and founded Optima Foundation, a charity created “to support the establishment and expansion of superior quality schools of choice.”