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District 72: Dem. Margaret Good captures House seat

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB/FLNEWSSERVICE) - With 100% of Precincts reporting in District 72 Democratic candidate Margaret Good is the projected winner with 52% of the vote.

Flipping a seat that had been held by Republicans, Good cruised to a victory Tuesday in a special election in Sarasota County state House district 72.

The election is a high-profile victory for Democrats, who hope it will be a sign of things to come in the November elections. It is the second special election in recent months in which Democrats captured a formerly Republican legislative seat, with the other being a win by Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami.

The Florida Democratic Party issued a statement seeking to link Good’s win to dissatisfaction with Republican President Donald Trump, who won House district 72 in 2016.

“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,” the party statement said. “This is a referendum on Trump and the GOP.”

Good, an attorney, said in a prepared statement that the victory wouldn’t have been possible without the “thousands of individuals, who like me, have had enough of the divisiveness that permeates Tallahassee.”

“The voters have spoken,” Good said. “People in District 72 want leaders who listen and act boldly to better our community. I will be accessible, transparent and fully committed to this community that has provided me and my family so much.”

Unofficial Results:

Democrat: Margaret Good - 52.17%, 23,054 Votes.

Republican: James Buchanan - 44.80%, 19,796 Votes.

Libertarian: Alison Foxall - 3.03%, 1,338 Votes.

According to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections' website, 44,218 ballots were cast in the election, or 36% of all registered voters.

The local election gained national attention with Governors, U.S. Senators and former U.S. Vice Presidents voicing their support for the candidates.

As an indication of the national interest in the race, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez issued a statement Tuesday night about the win.

“Just like we did last year with Annette Taddeo, Democrats are organizing, investing, and winning elections across Florida as voters reject (Gov.) Rick Scott and Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda,” Perez said in the statement.

Even after election day, the attention on the House District 72 seat is far from over. The winner will only serve a nine month term and won't get a chance to breathe before the general election in November.   

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