State Politics

Sarasota Democrat wins special election for Florida House seat

Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, defeated Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in Tuesday’s special election for the vacated District 72 seat of the Florida House of Representatives.
Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, defeated Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in Tuesday’s special election for the vacated District 72 seat of the Florida House of Representatives.

Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, defeated Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in Tuesday’s special election for the vacated District 72 seat of the Florida House of Representatives.

Good, a lawyer from Sarasota, received 23,039 votes, or 52.17 percent of the vote according to results posted on the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections website, which showed all 32 precincts reporting.

Buchanan, who is the son of Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, received 19,782 votes (44.8 percent). Foxall got 1,338 votes (3.03 percent).

The seat was vacated by Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, during the middle of her first term in August.

It was the first special election of 2018 and a race that had drawn national attention, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Good, while Buchanan had the backing of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Good’s margin of victory — more than 7 percent over Buchanan — is somewhat surprising considering recent polls showed the race was considered a statistical dead heat.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released the following statement after Tuesday’s results were announced: “Margaret Good’s overwhelming victory in Florida’s HD 72 demonstrates that voters are energized to cast their ballot for a candidate who can shake up our broken political system, not the son of a Washington establishment politician. While this big Democratic victory should put the elder Buchanan on notice, he cannot undo his steadfast support for the House Republican agenda that puts the very rich and biggest corporations first, and middle class Sarasotans last.

“Democratic candidate Dave Shapiro has already hit the ground running in the race for Congress, and will be a very strong competitor in November.”

There were 44,218 ballots cast Tuesday, a turnout of about 36 percent of registered voters in the district.

Alan Bellittera: 941-745-7016, @AlanBell35

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) delivered the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address. Kennedy rebuked the Trump administrations policies. “Bullies never win,” he said.

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