Democrats say the results of a special election in Florida Tuesday show signs of a building national momentum heading into the midterm elections this fall. Margaret Good won in Florida’s 72nd House District, defeating Republican James Buchanan — the son of another Florida congressman, Vern Buchanan. The district, in Sarasota County on Florida’s Gulf Coast, has been consistently Republican. The seat became available after the previous representative, Republican Alex Miller, resigned, telling the Tampa Bay Times she was unhappy with the “top-down” power structure in the House under Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Democrats are cheered by Good’s margin of victory. She beat the Republican by 7 percentage points in a district that President Trump won two years ago by a 5-point margin. Analysts say turnout was key to Good’s win. A larger number of Democrats voted than in earlier special elections, cutting into the advantage Republicans hold in the number of registered voters. Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Good. Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski campaigned for Buchanan.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Good’s victory was part of a trend that has seen Democrats win 36 former Republican seats in state legislatures in Florida and across the country. “Democrats are organizing, investing [in], and winning elections across Florida,” Perez said, “as voters reject Rick Scott and Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda.”