Sarasota Republican Fiona McFarland rolled out a new television ad and an endorsement from County Commissioner Charles Hines.
McFarland’s ad, part of a major air buy ahead of the Aug. 18 primary, describes McFarland as “fresh, bold, Republican leadership.”
The area newcomer is stressing her candidacy as a new face for local politics.
She’s running against Sarasota County Charter Review Board member Donna Barcomb and attorney Jason Miller, who also ran in 2018, in the Republican primary for House District 72.
The video hits on current events like police issues and economic recovery.
“McFarland will stand with law enforcement to keep our streets safe, work to reignite our economy and make sure Sarasota’s children have access to the best schools and education,” a narrator states. “Simply put, she’ll get the job done.”
McFarland recently spent $24,990 on a media buy with Washington, D.C. area political marketing firm Multi Media Services, a spend that included purchasing air time.
The advertisement also stresses McFarland’s service in the Navy, something Hines also mentioned in his endorsement.
“Fiona is the real deal,” Hines said. “Her military service to our country combined with her fresh outlook and energy to tackle the major issues facing our region, particularly as a new parent, are characteristics we need right now in government. She has my full support.”
Hines, a two-term County Commissioner, was elected county-wide in 2012 and 2016. He can’t seek another term this year due to term limits.
That endorsement serves as a counter of sorts to high-profile support Barcomb garnered through the election, including backing from Sarasota County Commissioner and former Sen. Nancy Detert.
Through June 26, McFarland led the cash race in District 72, with $175,199 cash on hand. Barcomb had $70,953. Miller had $2,941.
The race is a crucial one for Republicans. District 72 is among a handful of House seats where voters in 2016 favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton but are held by Democrats.
State Rep. Margaret Good chose not to run for reelection this year and to instead seek a seat in Congress. Attorney Drake Buckman has already secured the Democratic nomination.