Fiona McFarland raises $25,000 in January
Fiona McFarland.

Fiona McFarland
Naval reservist has pulled in $192K for run.

Sarasota Naval reservist Fiona McFarland raised another $25,000 in January in her effort to flip House District 72 red again. The strong showing puts her firmly ahead of her opponents in fundraising.

“I could not be more grateful for the support this community has offered me, my family and this campaign,” McFarland said.

“Our mission is far from complete but I am more confident than ever that our message of civility and results-driven leadership is resonating with the people of Sarasota.”

That means she’s raised a total of $192,012, combining contributions, a $20,000 candidate loan and some $5,349 in in-kind donations.

That doesn’t include $10,500 raised through the McFarland-affiliated political committee Friends of Sarasota.

A news release notes McFarland in January raised more than Democratic opponent Drake Buckman raised in all of 2019. The Sarasota attorney pulled in $24,890 last year.

The district was one of Florida Democrats’ great success stories in 2018, when Rep. Margaret Good won the seat in a nationally watched special election and held on in November.

But Good, a prolific fundraiser, elected to run for Congress this year against U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Good did raise $49,608 before announcing her federal run, and that can’t transfer over. Good says she’s committed to running for U.S. House.

Of course, McFarland isn’t the only Republican looking to bring the seat back into GOP control. She faces two primary opponents first.

Sarasota County Charter Review Board member Donna Barcomb, who in 2019 raised $78,440, on top of a $9,000 loan and $2,978 in in-kind donations. That’s a total of $90,418 raised before the start of the year.

Sarasota attorney Jason Miller also jumped into the race in November after running in 2018 and losing to former Rep. Ray Pilon in the primary. Through the end of 2019, he raised $5,919 in contributions and loaned his campaign $3,500, while getting $110 in in-kind help. That’s $9,529 total.

McFarland has also released a video ad for her campaign stressing her military service.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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