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Who is Byron Donalds' wife? Joy Reid slammed after congressman schooling

Byron Donalds' wife, Erika Lees Donalds, accused Joy Reid of 'not letting him speak' as he made her 'look foolish'
Joy Reid (R) was trying to assert that Byron Donald's nomination was based on making 'diversity statements' (Erika Donalds/ Instagram, Getty Images)
Joy Reid (R) was trying to assert that Byron Donald's nomination was based on making 'diversity statements' (Erika Donalds/ Instagram, Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: MSNBC'S Joy Reid is being slammed after getting "schooled" by the congressman nominee for house speaker from Florida, Byron Donalds. Donalds appeared as a guest on 'The ReidOut' after host Reid made controversial statements on his nomination of the house speaker.

Reid was trying to assert that his nomination was based on making 'diversity statements' rather than his qualification and that Republicans "were looking for a response to Hakeem Jeffries" by nominating him. After the heated discussion was televised, Donalds' wife, Erika Lees Donalds, accused Reid of "not letting him speak" as he made her "look foolish".


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Donalds took to Twitter and wrote, "Joy Reid wouldn’t allow my husband speak because he kept making her look foolish! He brought facts and receipts, while all she had were empty Democrat talking points. @ByronDonalds showed her (and everyone) why he would be well-qualified for #SOTH!." Erika quoted her husband's earlier tweet where he had announced discussing house priorities with Reid. "ICYMI: I joined @thereidoutto discuss the @HouseGOP's priorities in the 118th Congress, the events of last week, and much more. Check out the thread below for clips of our passionate (to say the least) exchange."


Donalds, 42 is an education entrepreneur and former school board member, and Commissioner for Florida's Constitution Revision Commission. She founded OptimaEd, an education company, and runs several charter schools in Florida under the Optima Foundation. At present, she is its chief executive officer.

She also served on the Collier County Board of Education from 2014 to 2018, according to her LinkedIn Profile. Moreover, she was the Chief Financial Officer / Chief Compliance Officer and Managing Partner for DGHM from 2002-2018. She served on Florida’s 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission as well as Governor DeSantis’ advisory committee on Education and Workforce Development, as per OptimaEd.

As a school board member for Collier County Public schools, she "sought equality of opportunity for academic success for 46,000 students in Collier County's public schools. Advocated for the interests of students, parents, and taxpayers. Oversaw a $900 million budget, and hold the government accountable for results."


Originally from Tampa, she describes herself as a Christ follower and a fighter for education, according to her Instagram bio. Erika is married to Byron since 2003, and both have attended Florida University.  She then graduated from Florida State University with a degree in accounting in 2002 and also earned a master’s degree, in accounting, from Florida Atlantic University in 2006. Erika and her husband Byron have lived in Naples since 2002 and have three sons – Damon, Darin, and Mason.