Democrat Margaret Good decisively won the Sarasota-area House District 72 special election Tuesday, defeating Republican James Buchanan 52 to 45 percent.
Florida Democrats were quick to praise Good on flipping HD 72, which was reliably Republican for at least a decade, citing her “positive message of growing Sarasota’s economy, fully funding our public schools, and protecting our coastline.”
Many Democrats view the race as a precursor to a national “blue wave” of anti-Donald Trumpsentiment at the polls. They say Buchanan’s loss — particularly in traditionally red HD 72 — is a sign of dissatisfaction with Republicans in 2018, nominally led by an increasingly unpopular president.
A sampling of Florida Democrats congratulating Good on her win:
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson:
“Congratulations to Margaret Good on a huge win! The people of Sarasota will be well represented with her in Tallahassee.”
Gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham:
“Floridians made a great choice tonight in electing Margaret Good to the State House. After 20 years of one-party rule, Floridians want leaders who will fight for health care, create jobs, improve public education, and protect the environment— and that’s exactly what Margaret will do. I look forward to working with her as governor to create change in Tallahassee and a better Florida for everyone.”
Gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine:
“Congratulations to Margaret Good on her incredible victory in HD 72! She stepped up to run, because she believes, like so many, that Tallahassee needs fresh leadership with a clear vision. Today, Margaret Good and the Democrats flipped this seat because they offered a real vision for Sarasotans, and in November, we will flip the Governor’s mansion!”
Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez:
“Congratulations to Representative-elect Margaret Good on her victory tonight’s special election, which flipped yet another Republican-held seat from red to blue in a district that Trump carried in 2016. Just like we did last year with Annette Taddeo, Democrats are organizing, investing, and winning elections across Florida as voters reject Rick Scott and Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda. I’m confident Margaret will fight every day for working families across Florida. The DNC is proud to stand with Margaret and the Florida Democratic Party, and we will continue working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”
The DCCC’s Cole Leiter:
“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.”
The NLCC’s Jessica Post:
“Representative-elect Margaret Good’s campaign was dedicated to the people of Sarasota County who are tired of Florida Republicans peddling a Trump agenda counter to their values. Rep.-elect Good went door-to-door, talking with voters about affordable health care, fully funded public schools, safeguarding LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights, and protecting Florida’s beautiful environment. The DLCC is proud of the investments we made to support Rep.-elect Good in her fight to flip HD-72, and we look forward to continuing our work alongside Florida Democrats as we prepare to elect more Democrats to the Florida Legislature ahead of 2020 redistricting.”
Florida Democratic Party:
“We couldn’t be more proud of Margaret, for the campaign she ran. She was the better candidate, her message resonated with voters in Sarasota, and the results showed that. This win shows us that Floridians are rejecting the same tired rhetoric we saw with Donald Trump’s campaign, which was the same rhetoric Buchanan used to try and win. This is a referendum on Trump and the GOP.
“Republicans across the state continue to campaign on issues like the border wall, that are not actual state issues and only serve to divide and demonize the immigrant population. We are going to continue to focus on the real issues effecting this state, like the fact that nearly half the state is struggling — living paycheck to paycheck, and the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are without health care because Republican leadership refused to expand Medicaid. This is the beginning of a movement here in Florida. We will continue to work hard in every race, up and down the ballot, because Floridians deserve better.”
State Rep. Kionne McGhee, Democratic Leader-designate:
“Tonight’s victory is a testament to the power of the grassroots campaign we built in Sarasota, as well as the appetite for change in Tallahassee that’s growing all over this state. I’m looking forward to Margaret joining us in the Legislature beginning tomorrow in the fight for expanded access to health care and stopping attacks on our public schools.”
Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director, Florida Conservation Voters:
“Margaret Good will be a breath of fresh air in Tallahassee. We are thrilled to welcome her as another outspoken advocate for Florida’s environment. Our quality of life and our economy are intertwined and both depend on a clean and healthy environment. We need leaders like Margaret Good to fight for our water, conservation lands, and clean energy. Sarasota may be 327 miles away from Tallahassee, but tonight, voters sent a loud and clear message to the Capitol that can’t be ignored.”
Joe Saunders of Equality Florida:
“Equality Florida Action PAC played a key role in rallying support within the Suncoast and across the state for Margaret Good, including working with local volunteers to raise campaign contributions and building satellite phone banks across the state to turn out progressive votes. Florida’s LGBTQ and allied community is under attack by forces in Washington and Tallahassee. This year we’re going to make clear that those who stand with us will earn our support and those who ignore us or attack us will be held to account. Margaret is ready on day one to fight for our families, which is why we’ve shown up for her.”
Reggie Cardozo of House Victory:
“Margaret’s win shows that grassroots Democratic campaigns can and will defeat the cynical House Republican machine funded by special interests and run by Tallahassee insiders. This great victory is just the beginning of the Blue Wave to come in 2018.”
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