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Democrat Wins Special Election To Sarasota House District

Margaret Good

Democrats picked up a rare seat in the Florida House Tuesday. Democrat Margaret Good bested two challengers in a special election for Sarasota's House District 72.

Good's decisive victory gave the minority Democrats in Tallahassee a win in a Republican-leaning district.

Good won 52.2 percent of the vote compared with 44.8 percent for Republican James Buchanan - the son of Sarasota Congressman Vern Buchanan - and 3 percent for Libertarian Allison Foxall. This is a district that was won by Donald Trump by 4.4 percent.

Zac Anderson covers politics for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He says the Democrats went all out, with endorsements from former Vice President Joe Biden and Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland.

"They really viewed this as a district that would send a message nationwide," Anderson said. "Democrats have been doing pretty well in some of these special elections for state legislative seats, and each one of them has become national news as people try and figure out which way the political winds are blowing and what's going to happen in the national elections."

Good, an attorney, will replace Alex Miller, who resigned in September. But she'll have to run for re-election in November.

Anderson says Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner told him that turnout for this election was higher than for any special election since 2003.

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