Politics & Government

‘Laser-focused’ Rep. Good outraises Rep. Buchanan by $80k in first campaign filing

The latest fundraising totals in the race for Florida’s 16th Congressional District show that Vern Buchanan’s Democratic challenger is ready to put up a fight.

State Rep. Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, announced that she outraised Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, by about $80,000 in the third quarter of 2019 in the U.S. House race. The $450,000 her campaign brought in is a record first quarter for a Democrat running in the district, which is comprised of Manatee and parts of Sarasota and Hillsborough counties..

“After 12 years of Congressman Buchanan, Floridians are realizing it’s time for a change and our momentum is growing because I show up for the people of this district,” Good said in a prepared statement. “I am laser-focused on lowering prescription drug prices, protecting our Florida environment and working across the aisle to get things done.”

Good’s campaign boasts that the vast majority of their fundraising so far has come from individuals donors, not political action committees. Between her mid-July announcement and the end of September, Good reeled in donations from 1,800 different people.

Buchanan, on the other hand, brought in about $370,000 last quarter — and just over 40 percent of it came from more than 50 PACs. Good received just $3,500 in PAC money from two organizations — Elect Democratic Women and Democrats Win Seats.

“Margaret Good just outraised Congressman Buchanan and it’s time to start the retirement clock on him after yet another underwhelming fundraising quarter,” said Kevin Lata, Good’s campaign manager.

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State House Rep. Margaret Good, D-72, announced that she outraised Rep. Vern Buchanan’s campaign by more than $100,000 last quarter in an effort to take his seat in U.S. Congress. In this Bradenton Herald file photo, Good speaks at a 2018 campaign event in Siesta Key. Ryan Callihan rcallihan@bradenton.com

Despite Good’s surge of support, Buchanan still leads in total fundraising. Before Good announced her election bid, Buchanan had already raised more than $1 million to maintain his seat.

“Vern is fighting every day to end the Washington gridlock and produce real results for his community. We are humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support from Republicans, independents and Democrats throughout the region,” said Max Goodman, Buchanan’s campaign manager.

Goodman also pointed out that David Shapiro, Buchanan’s Democratic opponent in 2018, outspent the congressman. Buchanan won that race by more than 30,000 votes.

In meeting with voters on the campaign trail, Good says she’s focused on healthcare affordability, environmental issues and strengthening the economy. Buchanan’s priorities heading into 2020 include cracking down on illegal immigration, protecting Medicare and making sure healthcare is more affordable.

Where do the candidates stand on impeachment?

While concern about healthcare costs seems to be the candidate’s only similarity, Buchanan and Good differ greatly when asked about their stance on a Democrat-led impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

“This type of crass political stunt is why Americans are so disillusioned with Washington,” Buchanan said in a prepared statement. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi should stop trying to appease extremist members of her party and start working across the aisle to advance a bipartisan agenda that improves the lives of all Americans.”

Buchanan announced Thursday that he had signed on to co-sponsor a resolution seeking to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for his “fabricated retelling” of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. In a town hall held in Bradenton last month, Buchanan also defended President Trump against impeachment efforts.

In a news release, Good stated that she believes “we are at a crisis point in our democracy,” and called on both parties to continue investigating allegations that Trump coerced a foreign government for his own political gain.

“Congress must work to get all of the facts and the administration must cooperate so that we can establish whether the president abused his power and put his own interests above the national interest,” she said. “In our democracy, no one is above the law.”

Ryan Callihan is the Bradenton Herald’s County Reporter, covering local government and politics. On the weekends, he also covers breaking news. Ryan is a graduate of USF St. Petersburg.
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