Democrat state lawmaker Margaret Good sets her sights on Congress and seven-term incumbent Vern Buchanan

by | Jul 22, 2019

Two years after winning a special election in a contest for in the Republican-controlled state House District 72 seat in which she defeated Republican James Buchanan, Democrat Margaret Good is now setting her political sights on Congress and Florida’s 16th Congressional currently held held by Buchanan’s father, Vern Buchanan.

Good announced Monday morning she will attempt to unseat the seven-term incumbent  in next year’s 2020 election.

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

“I’m running for Congress to serve the people of Florida, and we must look beyond three-word slogans and rise above divisive rhetoric to solve our challenges and create a better future. To get the results we need, we must change the kind of people we send to Washington,” Good added, “We need a representative who will listen to people, work hard, and do the right thing, even when it means working with those you don’t always agree with or standing up to your own party.”

Good attracted national attention when she defeater the  younger Buchanan by 7.4 percent in the special race for the Florida House of Representatives in February 2018. It’s a district that voted for the last three GOP presidential nominees. She would later go on to win re-election in November of that same year. 

“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. I’m confident she will bring the same tenacity to this congressional campaign,” JoAnne Devries, Sarasota County Democratic Party Chair said.

Good, 42, is married without children. She works for the politically connected law firm of Matthews Eastmoore. Her 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. After college, Good worked for the United Way and the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park, before beginning a career in the law. 

“Over the last year I’ve realized it’s not just my state House district that deserves better representation, it’s all of us,” Good said in an interview Sunday with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “I have seen that there are issues all across our region that are not being appropriately addressed.”

Good said she wants to make prescription drug prices more affordable, improve water quality and address climate change, among other issues. But she faces an uphill climb in trying to knock off Buchanan, who has fended off a series of well-funded Democratic challengers over the years.

Buchanan’s toughest race was his first one in 2006 against Sarasota banker Christine Jennings. He won that contest by just 369 votes after a recount. He beat Jennings again in 2008, defeated former Sarasota state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald in 2012 and last year bested Siesta Key attorney David Shapiro.

Buchanan’s margin of victory has grown in each of the four competitive races he has faced. He won by nine percentage points against Shapiro in a district that Trump carried by double digits.



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