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Sarasota Special Election Heats Up

Florida House District 72 candidates left to right; Republican James Buchanan, Libertarian Alison Foxall, and Democrat Margaret Good

Three candidates are in the running to fill the position vacated by State Rep. Alex Miller, a Sarasota Republican, who unexpectedly submitted her resignation from House District 72 last August. Gov. Rick Scott announced there will be a special election to replace Miller on Tuesday.

The candidates are: Democrat Margaret Good, Libertarian Alison Foxall and Republican James Buchanan. The winner will have only nine months in office until the next election in November.

This election has received attention from state and local politicians. Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed Good, Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio endorsed Buchanan, and local newspaper “The Observer” announced its endorsement for Foxall.

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that turnout from absentee and early voting has already eclipsed turnout for any special election since 2003.

WWSB My Suncoast quoted Frank Alcock, New College of Florida Political Science professor, as saying the race is in the spotlight because Buchanan is the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Alcock said that relationship could help or hurt Buchanan’s campaign, and added Foxall’s run could affect the election results in a meaningful way.

“If Margaret Good is able to pull off a victory I think you’ll probably see certainly statewide, but even some national coverage,” predicted Alcock.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Vice President Joe Biden’s endorsement has given Good’s campaign against Buchanan and Foxall a boost in the final stretch.

Good received campaign help from another prominent Democrat in the previous week, as former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley headlined a fundraiser.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, held a get-out-the-vote rally for Buchanan over the weekend.

According to SNN News, on Sunday hundreds showed up at Dolphin Aviation to show their support.

"I am here to make sure one thing happens, that Buchanan goes to the State House and we don't have another Democrat in the office," Lewandowski said.

Nicole Bambach is a WUSF Zimmerman School Digital News Reporter for the spring of 2018, she is also serving as a News Staff Writer at The Oracle since the fall of 2017.
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