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Fiona McFarland raises $72K in less than one month in race to unseat Margaret Good

“I will put country before self and purpose over partisanship to make Sarasota strong.”

Fiona McFarland announced Monday she raised more than $72,000 in less than one month to unseat Democrat Margaret Good in Florida House District 72.

McFarland’s first month fundraising total surpasses the amount of money raised so far by both her primary opponent, Donna Barcomb, and Good. 

“The energy, support, and enthusiasm I’ve received from people both locally and from throughout my life is truly humbling,” McFarland said. “The fact that so many people are ready to stand with us and support the future of Florida gives me confidence that we’re doing something right. Just like in the Navy, I will put country before self and purpose over partisanship to make Sarasota strong.”

McFarland launched her campaign in June. She reports raising $72,150 between June 3 and June 30. That total includes more than $42,000 in her campaign account and another $10,000 in her political committee, Friends of Sarasota. McFarland loaned her campaign another $20,000.

Sarasota County Commissioner Paul Caragiulo and Public Defender Larry Eger each contributed to McFarland’s campaign, she announced. Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey who served under President George W. Bush from 2007 to 2009 and former ambassador to Brazil John Danilovich also contributed, McFarland said. 

“Not only is the base starting to rally around Fiona but so are people from all walks of life who appreciate her grit and tenacity to shake up the system,” said Max Goodman, an adviser to McFarland’s campaign. “And the scary thing is — she’s just getting started.”

McFarland’s aggressive fundraising is so far outmatching Good’s, but that could change. Good only raised $100 in April and May, the most recent months for which campaign finance reports are publicly available. But Good couldn’t raise funds for much of that time because she was serving in the 2019 Legislative Session. Prior to that, Good posted nearly $18,000 in March earnings, funds that came in over just four days before the start of session. 

Good also proved a master fundraiser, bringing in about a half-million dollars each in her initial special election victory and in her subsequent reelection. 

But McFarland’s fundraising success so far, paired with Barcomb’s strong fundraising support (more than $46,000 as of May 31) show Good faces a strong GOP challenge. 

That two women are facing off in the GOP primary to face her next year shows a concerted effort to challenge Good’s popularity among moderate female voters in the Sarasota district. 

McFarland’s fundraising surge might indeed be only just beginning. McFarland’s mother, K.T. McFarland, served as President Donald Trump’s first Deputy National Security Advisor advising the White House on negotiations with North Korea and China. That Trump connection could give McFarland access to a pool of national donors to unseat a rising Democrat. 

McFarland is a Navy Reserve Lieutenant Commander.

Good flipped the seat blue in a February 2018 special election and then won reelection just nine months later. 

Barcomb is a member of the Sarasota County Charter Review Board.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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