Good files for Buchanan’s congressional seat

In first 24 hours, Good raises more than $135,000

State Rep. Margaret Good. Image from the Florida House

Democrat Margaret Good of Siesta Key, a member of the Florida House, has announced her candidacy for Florida’s 16th Congressional District.

Good is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key, a seven-term incumbent.

“I first ran for office because our community has real issues that are not being addressed,” Good said in a press release. “From water quality to public education to health care, we deserve better,” she added in the release.

Twenty-four hours after making the announcement, the Good campaign reported $135,426 in contributions.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the massive outpouring of grassroots support our campaign has received,” Good said in another press release. “It’s clear that people are hungry for new leadership and a Congressperson that will actually take on the real issues that individuals and families are facing in this district,” she added in the release.

Buchanan’s federal campaign finance report for the period of Jan. 1 through June 30 shows him having received $954,648. During the same period, he spent $516,822.13, including repayment of a $250,000 loan he made to the campaign in June 2018, the Federal Election Commission report says.

“Good captured national attention when she defied expectations and defeated James Buchanan,” Vern Buchanan’s son, in a February 2018 special election for Florida House District 72, her news release pointed out.

In a district in which the majority of voters supported the last three GOP presidential nominees, the release said, Good won the seat by 7.4 points — “a 21-point swing” from the result of the previous Florida House election.

Voter turnout in that special election hit the 36% mark. The total number of ballots — 44,236 — was more than half the number cast in the 2016 General Election, according to Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office data.

Good took 52.18% of the total votes in the special election, with James Buchanan in second place with 44.8%. Libertarian Alison Foxall captured about 3% of the vote.

The total number of registered voters able to participate in the special election was 122,615.

Good was re-elected in November 2018, defeating Republican Ray Pilon, who previously had served in the Florida House. In that race, Good won 50.74% of the votes cast.

“What helped Margaret Good win both her special election and re-election to the Florida House was a grassroots-driven field program and a first-class fundraising performance that met, understood, and listened to voters throughout her district,” JoAnne Devries, Sarasota County Democratic Party chair, said in the release.“I’m confident she will bring the same tenacity to this congressional campaign.”

Good’s mother is a retired nurse, and her father, a fourth-generation Floridian, “was an Episcopal priest whose ministry took the family to small towns” all across the South, the release notes.

After college, Good worked for the United Way and the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park before beginning a career in the law, the release says.

For more information about Good and the campaign, visit