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A Democrat Flip: Margaret Good Beats Republican James Buchanan for Sarasota House Seat

February 13, 2018 - 10:00pm
Margaret Good
Margaret Good

Democrat Margaret Good defeated Republican James Buchanan in Tuesday's special election for state representative in Florida’s 72nd District, sending another Democrat to the House in a seat that had been occupied by a Republican.

With all precincts reporting, according to the state Division of Elections website, Good claimed nearly 52.2 percent of the vote. Republican James Buchanan, meanwhile, son of GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan, came away with 44.8 percent and Libertarian Alison Foxall, 3 percent.

In a race watched closely by both national parties, Democrats are touting it as their 36th legislative flip since the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Good's campaign got a major shot in the arm from the national Democratic push on her behalf, allowing her to raise more money than Buchanan. From Jan. 5 through Feb. 8, she pulled in $257,074 to Buchanan's $70,690. Her overall total was $484,388; the Republican's, $353,320. 

From the start, Good, an attorney, called her campaign "a win for our schools, our small businesses and our environment." She has said, as a member of the Legislature, she will be an advocate for increased access to health care, an end to corporate welfare, and expanded opportunities for every single person in Sarasota.

“I want to thank everyone who supported this campaign. It would not have been possible without the thousands of individuals, who like me, have had enough of the divisiveness that permeates Tallahassee and gave of their time, money and talent. 

"This election is over. With the legislative session nearing its end, I understand the clear mandate provided by voters tonight to bring Sarasota values to Tallahassee starting tomorrow,” said Good. 

The seat opened up last year when Republican Alex Miller resigned from the Legislature for family and business reasons. 

The win came as something of a surprise to many. The 72nd is considered a swing district, although Republicans outnumber Democrats by some 13,000 voters. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump won there by just 5 points.

The Democratic party, bullish on gaining momentum before the 2018 midterm elections, set its sights on the Sarasota district as another opportunity to flip a legislative seat nationwide.

Local polling gave Good a 3-point lead just days before the election, but that wasn't counting voters who already had cast ballots.

“The voters have spoken. People in District 72 want leaders who listen and act boldly to better our community," Good concluded. "I will be accessible, transparent, and fully committed to this community that has provided me and my family so much. I am honored to serve and will work every day for every one of us."


Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


Now is the time to vote for meaningful control of military-style guns and background checks. We are all sick of the killings. Glad you are now in the House! Regards, Wayne Snyder

Three reasons why Anti-gun positions will fail in the United States. 1. Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The right of the people, to keep and bear arms! 2. Columbia VS. Hellar. 3. McDonald VS. Chicago.

Nobody is going to be a winner, as long as Red and Blue stay at each others throats. As constituents, we must demand inclusion and compromise. Common ground must be the voters cry. Politics can't be one size fits all. They must include everybody, or nobody. What's it going to be? Stop being children on the playground, and come together to solve what's really wrong with our nation and states.

The Dems are kicking the living chit out of the Repub's in all statewide races... The pendulum is swinging back and the country is slowly turning blue. Not a good sign for the future of the Repubs as the country quickly becomes more multi-ethnic...

OK, if you say so! In 2010 Republicans took the US House. In 2014 the US Senate. In 2016 the Whitehouse, Republicans, control 35 state Governorships, and 69%, of all State Houses. Over the last eight years, of Obama's presidency, Dems lost over 900, legislative seats.

You are living in the past... Take a look at the last 6 months Timmy boy... I don't have a dog in the fight, I just love the effects of the hypocrisy. It usually occurs for both sides every 8 yrs...

Hypocrisy no, just facts! All true. Republicans will gain one, possibly two Senate seats. They will however, lose up to 20 House seats. But keep the House! If the economy stays strong, Trump will win reelection, in 2020.

More likely, his "Dad's reputation" preceded him: see "EXTORTION" by Peter Sweitzer to read about "Vern" ("voted on of the 10 most corrupt politicians of 2012" by Judicial Watch. [ALSO on THAT list: Barak Hussein Obama ] !... )

You have been voted 1 of the 10 biggest idiots on this site. Take your fat ass back to NY and get a job poser...

"HEY "Cow Fart",... How are you? (I don nee no steenkin job, I gots "benefits", just like ju... !)

Definitely not "more likely". MUCH more likely this is yet another victim of Trumps antics and the resulting and growing Democratic wave.

The Trump the Chump train is derailing and the Repub's are going down with it... This should be an alarming wake-up call for all... Almost every seat in the last 6 months has gone blue...crazy...

Alex Miller didn't leave the seat for any reason other than her party chased her out for representing her constituent's best interests. Margaret Good won a cross section of the district's voters because she was the only candidate in the race that understood the district's priorties and will champion them in the chamber.

Trump is coming home to roost as it becomes increasingly clear what both republicans and Trump are really about. ...And Corcoran's racist ad is not helping either unless you are a dem as driving voters away as no longer want to be republican as the party sinks to increasingly new lows...... Since Trump lost the national vote by 3mm votes, winning there with 5% is not a low number as the article says trying to make the win less bad is weak.

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