U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, endorsed Fiona McFarland in a hotly contested statehouse race in the region.
The veteran JAG officer cited McFarland’s military service, a part of her resume frequently highlighted in campaign ads.
“Veterans like Fiona have a unique skill set that will serve them well in office,” Steube said. “Her experience, energy and commitment to the future are the reasons why I’m endorsing her.”
The news came hours before McFarland participates in a Tiger Bay forum for candidates running in House District 72.
McFarland touted Steube’s endorsement and praised his leadership on a number of Southwest Florida issues.
“Congressman Steube is a strong Republican with expertise in the law, the military, veterans issues and agriculture; he represents our region well with servant leadership and conservative values,” McFarland said. “I am honored by his endorsement and hope to follow in his footsteps of service in the state legislature as a principled conservative.”
He’s one of the highest ranking elected officials to publicly back McFarland in what’s expected to be one of the top general election battles in Florida.
Steube, formerly a state Senator, was elected to Congress in 2018 after winning a heated primary against former state Rep. Julio Gonzalez. The landslide victory came two years after Steube won a high-profile Senate primary against former state Reps. Doug Holder and Ray Pilon and former Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson.
A regular Fox News guest, Steube represents south Sarasota County, away from District 72, but holds significant sway with conservative voters. He’s also been an ardent defender in Congress of President Donald Trump, particularly during the impeachment process. McFarland’s mother, K.T. McFarland, served in the Trump Administration as the President’s first deputy national security advisor.
More recently, Steube has been an outspoken supporter of police amid protests in the region. Steube’s father, Brad Steube, served for years as Manatee County Sheriff.
McFarland faces Republicans Donna Barcomb and Jason Miller in the August primary. The winner faces Democrat Drake Buckman in November. Republicans see Distruct 72 as one of their best opportunities to pick up a seat, with incumbent Democrat Margaret Good running for Congress instead of reelection.
The district went to Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by about 4%, the largest margin of any state House seat currently held by the Democrats.