Sarasota Republican Fiona McFarland continues to lap opponents in fundraising for House District 72.
The Republican Naval reservist raked in another $17,000 in April, bringing her total raised to $214,508, including a $20,000 candidate loan.
She continued to tally donations despite a month of statewide lockdowns and being isolated at home with an infant.
“The support and enthusiasm for Fiona and her mission broadens by the day,” said campaign spokesperson Maryann Grgic.
“People recognize the need for fresh, results-driven leadership and it’s a big reason why Fiona’s message is resonating with so many across Sarasota.”
McFarland is the first candidate in House District 72 to report March totals. Her war chest is now double the combined total for Republican opponents Donna Barcomb and Jason Miller though March. She has more than five times the amount raised by Democrat Drake Buckman.
A first-candidate — but a politically connected one — McFarland has earned national press from isolation. She was a guest this week on Sirius XM Patriot with mother K.T. Farland, former Deputy National Security Advisor.
McFarland, whose first child was born the day after Florida’s first reported case of COVID-19 was made public by a Sarasota hospital, said becoming a parent during a pandemic has only strengthened her desire to serve. She praised Republican leadership in the state and region for their response to the crisis.
“I want to commend Governor [Ron] DeSantis, Congressman [Vern] Buchanan, and all our local representatives who have taken a measured, data-driven approach to this pandemic,” McFarland said. “My background and training in the Navy has taught me respect for the burden of leadership during times of crisis when one must make difficult decisions quickly and without perfect information.”
A Naval Academy graduate, McFarland served as a surface warfare officer before working in communications at the Pentagon. She remains a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves.
“One thing is for sure. When we come through this, there will be an increased focus on governance, accountability and leadership as we rebuild,” she said.
“I’m aware of and respect that responsibility, and it resonates totally with my motivation for running. The fact that I have a son now to make proud only increases my resolve to serve in public office.”