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ICYMI: State of the Race – House District 72 Special Election

ICYMI: State of the Race – House District 72 Special Election


Sarasota, FL– Today voters in House District 72 will cast their votes in the first special election in Florida of 2018. With a win, Democratic candidate Margaret Good would flip the seat from red-to-blue. The Margaret Good Campaign released the following memo this morning on the State of the Race in HD 72:



TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Kevin Lata, Campaign Manager

SUBJECT: State of the Race – Election Day – February 13, 2018


STATE OF THE RACE – ELECTION DAY – February 13, 2018

This memo provides an overview of the special election in Florida House District 72 today, February 13, 2018 . This special election is taking place in a national climate that has seen voters reject President Trump and his Republican allies in off-year special elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Missouri. In the several special elections in Florida, Democrats have been successful or run far ahead of the typical partisan index of a district. The energy of the Democratic Electorate, Margaret’s fundraising success, and a campaign laser focused on grassroots volunteer activity has positioned Margaret Good to win the House District 72 special election.


27,688 ballots have already been cast through a combination of early voting and vote by mail. Democrats have a lead in the early vote total with 1390 Democrats voting to 1299 Republicans. The current overall vote total that includes both early voting and vote by mail is Democrats: 11,835, Republicans: 12,022, and Non-Party Affiliated: 3,831. Of the ballots that have been returned: 42.7% of them come from Democratic voters, while 43.4% of them are from Republicans. There have been 187 more Republican voters than Democratic voters that have voted so far.


The Good for Florida House campaign has raised $731,000.70 through the course of the campaign, having received 4,744 individual contributions. This number includes all contributions received into the campaign account, through our political committee, and from in-kind contributions. This is an unprecedented fundraising effort by a Democrat in this heavily gerrymandered and historically Republican district, which voted by an overwhelming 17 points for the Republican State House nominee in the 2016 election. It voted by 4.4 points to elect Donald Trump, and hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in over a decade. Margaret’s deep ties to the community and the breadth of the coalition supporting her in Sarasota have allowed her to defy the odds and outraise her opponent by a ratio of 3 to 1 in the final quarter. In that period, James Buchanan received only 74 contributions from individuals. The rest of his funding came from lobbyists, special interests, and the Republican Party of Florida. This is noteworthy, because James is the son of Vern Buchanan, the 9th wealthiest member of Congress. 


Trump won this district by 4.4 points and Obama lost it in 2008 by 200 votes. Senator Nelson, however, has never lost it. It has been held by Republicans for over a decade. The population of the district is 88% white. There are 39,052 registered Democrats to 52,486 registered Republicans. There are 30,216 registered Non-Party Affiliated voters. 


A public poll conducted on Feb. 10 and 11 by St. Pete Polls shows Margaret up 48%-45%, but within the margin of error of 3.7%. Margaret maintains a strong lead with independent voters, however, the powerful Republican tilt of the district, and the slight Republican advantage in already submitted ballots means that Democrats and Independents will need to show up in force on Election Day to pull off the upset they seek.


James Buchanan is the son of Vern Buchanan, the 9th wealthiest member of Congress and one of the most corrupt. James originally was running in the 71st district, the district that’s on the northern border of the 72nd. When the former Representative holding this seat resigned, he announced within the same hour he would be switching districts to the 72nd. Early on, he refused to debate or make any public appearances throughout the course of the campaign. He changed two weeks ago and decided to participate in a debate, likely because of polling they got back that showed his vulnerability. He’s a realtor and owns a realty business, however last year his annual income was only $26,000. He claims to believe in climate change, but has investments in Halliburton and Chesapeake Energy. Halliburton along with BP is responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the gulf.  Big Sugar and the private prison industry are big funders of his campaign. His core campaign issue is banning sanctuary cities.


I’m running because people on both sides of the aisle feel as if they’re being neglected by their government, and for good reason. Sustainable, high-paying jobs aren’t being created, our healthcare is constantly under attack, our government is attacking women’s reproductive and health care rights, and systematically making decisions that are destroying our environment. Republicans would rather side with lobbyists than our environment, and they would rather tell people to get a better job than realize an $8.10 minimum wage isn’t even close to being enough. District 72 doesn’t have time for empty promises, either — we need common sense solutions that will get us somewhere with politicians on both sides of the aisle in Tallahassee. In my conversations with voters across the district, I’ve heard a common set of goals that voters want achieved. They want their healthcare protected and their economic situation to improve. As someone who fights on behalf of others for a living, both now as a lawyer and earlier in life in the nonprofit sector, I will advocate for those values in the legislature.


Margaret Good has relied on the help of hundreds of volunteers in Sarasota. They have made over 120,000 phone calls knocked on over 45,000 doors. Margaret herself knocked has knocked on over 2,000 doors throughout the course of the campaign . People who have never before volunteered on a political campaign have stepped up, including women who have been Republicans their whole lives, to volunteer for Margaret. This is a grassroots effort made of up all types of people who want to see a change in House District 72, and know that Margaret is the right person to lead it.


This election is about who is willing to stand-up to special interests in Tallahassee and improve the economy for working families. Buchanan has not offered a plan for Florida and will continue the culture of corruption that has consumed Tallahassee and has resulted in stagnant wages, skyrocketing college costs, and lagging economic growth for families in Sarasota. It’s unlikely we’ll ever hear a plan from Buchanan since he continues to dodge debates, avoid the press, and authorize false ads that lie about Margaret’s record of fighting for her clients and community.


Vice President Joe Biden

Florida Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Emily’s List

Ruth’s List

Florida Conservation Voters

Sierra Club

Sister District




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