Supervisor of Elections Office has begun mailing vote-by-mail ballots for Dec. 5 House District 72 Special Primary

Democrats Good and Jouniari to face each other

The Florida Division of Elections lists the candidates for the House District 72 Special Election. Image from the Florida Division of Elections

The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office has begun sending out vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots for the Dec. 5 House District 72 Special Democratic Primary, Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner announced on Oct. 23.

A total of 245 ballots were sent on Oct. 20 to absent military and overseas voters, including 137 by mail and 108 by email, Turner said in a news release. Absent military and overseas voters include all active-duty military personnel, along with their spouses and dependents, and overseas U.S. citizens who are absent from Sarasota County, the release explains.

The initial mailing of 8,595 ballots to domestic voters, registered as Democrats and residing in House District 72, is scheduled for Oct. 31, the release adds.

To request a vote-by-mail ballot, voters may email, call 861-8618, or submit an online request from the Supervisor of Elections Office website at Requests for ballots to be mailed must be received by the elections office no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29, the news release emphasizes.

To be counted, voted ballots must be received in the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, the release points out, stressing that ballots “may not be left at a precinct.”

A sample ballot for the Dec. 5 primary is available on the Supervisor of Elections Office website, Turner also announced this week.

Turner is reminding voters to return marked ballots early, to avoid postal delays; he recommends voters mail their ballots at least one week before the deadline.

The candidates

Gov. Rick Scott set the dates for the primary and special election for the House District 72 seat after Rep. Alex Miller of Sarasota — who was elected in 2016 — submitted her resignation in late August to Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, R-Land’O’Lakes.

Margaret Good. Image from the Matthews Eastmoore website

Four candidates have qualified for the special election. They are Republican James V. Buchanan, Libertarian Alison Foxall and Democrats Margaret Good and Ruta Jouniari, all of Sarasota.

Good and Jouniari will face each other in the Dec. 5 primary. The winner will be on the Feb. 13, 2018 ballot with Buchanan and Foxall.

An associate with the Sarasota law firm of Matthews Eastmoore, Good listed her net worth as of Dec. 31, 2016 at $243,513.86, state records show.

Florida Politics is reporting that Good has raised $102,370 so far in her bid for the District 72 seat, based on information from the Florida House Democrats organization.

The Matthews Eastmoore website says Good is a civil litigator who handles commercial, business, estate, professional malpractice and personal injury cases. She received her law degree in 2012 from the University of Florida, where she was editor of the Florida Law Review, the website points out. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree from the University of Washington.

Jouniari, who is president and owner of International Staffing Group (ISG) on Fruitville Road in Sarasota, listed her net worth as of Sept. 18 at $380,000.

ISG “works with the federal government to place veterans in good jobs that allow them to utilize their specialized skills,” her campaign website says.

Thus far, the state Division of Elections shows no reports of contributions to either Good or Jouniari.

Rita Jouniari. Image from the Sarasota County Democratic Party website

Buchanan, who is the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, had raised $195,130 in cash through Oct. 19, state records show, plus $3,572.54 in in-kind services; he had spent $39,984.84 as of that date.

In his initial financial disclosure form, filed in late September, Buchanan listed his net worth as $1,235,160 as of Dec. 31, 2016. He filed a subsequent form for the District 72 race on Oct. 17. Under the heading that requires disclosure of sources of income exceeding $1,000, he noted that he had received $164,053 from David M. and Monique R. Satnick of 52nd Street in New York City.

On his campaign website, Buchanan says he has been a “local real estate agent since 2006, as well as a broker and small business owner since 2009.”

Buchanan lists an Alta Vista Street mailing address in Sarasota.

Foxall, who has a Prado Drive mailing address on her financial disclosure form, noted her net worth as $5,000 as of Sept. 28. She works with Gobble Logic LLC in Tampa. Her campaign website says she is a “[s]mall business owner of a local marketing & design firm.”

The Libertarian Party website points out that Foxall became “only the second Florida Libertarian to qualify for a special election by petition when her petitions were approved by the Board of Elections in September.” She had 400 signatures, the website added, with 305 the minimum required.

As with Good and Jouniari, no campaign contributions showed up yet for Foxall on the state Division of Elections website when The Sarasota News Leader checked it on Oct. 24.