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Democrats Vie For Right To Run In Sarasota House Primary

Margaret Good, left, and Ruta Jouniari

Democrats may soon have a rare chance to swing a moderate district their way. But first, voters in Sarasota have to choose between which Democrat they want to represent them in Tuesday's primary.

The District 72 primary pits Margaret Good, a Sarasota attorney and political rookie, against Ruta Jouniari, a Sarasota staffing agency owner. Political reporter William March says Jouniari considers herself an activist, which may not be sitting too well with more established members of the Democratic Party.

"The Democratic Party is openly backing Good," March said. "It's somewhat unusual for political parties to take sides during a primary, but in this case the state Democratic Party is openly backing Good as their favored candidate in the primary."

March says state Democrats are active in this race because President Donald Trump barely won the district by about five percentage points, and they feel it is one of their best chances to win a seat. The winner of the primary will face Republican James Buchanan - son of Congressman Vern Buchanan - and Libertarian Alison Foxall on February 13th. The seat was vacated by state Rep. Alex Miller, who said she wanted to spend more time at home.


Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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