With feet on the beach and Naval Academy credentials on display, Sarasota Republican Fiona McFarland is telling her story.
The Florida House candidate released a bio video Tuesday that stressed her record of public service.
“I was raised to believe that we all have an obligation to serve others and to give back,” she said. “To me, service isn’t about yourself. You don’t serve for personal gain. You serve to represent something larger.”
The campaign video, produced by campaign consultant Max Goodman, was released across social media platforms.
With McFarland walking along Siesta Key Beach, looking at the tides as she discussed water quality priorities, she talks about her service record and her move to the region.
Faded and framed pictures walk through her personal story from the Academy to aboard the U.S.S. Preble as an Ensign. She can be seen strolling with her husband Matthew Melton, himself a former Navy Lieutenant.
“When I left active duty my husband and I chose to make Florida our home base,” she said.
“I feel so grateful for this community that I want to serve it in the same way that I served my country before.”
McFarland moved to the region shortly before declaring as a candidate in House District 72. At the time, she intended to challenge Democratic incumbent Margaret Good, but the Democratic lawmaker since announced she’s running for Congress instead. That leaved the House district open.
Good won reelection in 2018 by about 2%, making it a ripe pickup opportunity for the GOP. McFarland currently faces Sarasota Charter Review Board Member Donna Barcomb and Sarasota attorney Jason Miller in the Republican primary, with Democrat Drake Buckman, also an attorney, waiting to defend the blue seat.
McFarland through November boasted a strong cash advantage, her campaign predicting she was closing out 2012 with a 2-to-1 cash advantage. But Barcomb has raised solid resources and stressed her local roots and endorsements in the region.
McFarland closes her video touching on a number of local needs like affordable housing and education funding. And she suggested her military background would prepare her for fights on the House floor.
“I know that serving in elected office isn’t the same thing as wearing a uniform in the armed services,” she said. “There are no tomahawk missiles in Tallahassee.
“But I think there are a lot of similarities. Public service is not about personal gain, public service is about working hard for something that is greater than yourself.”