The Florida Medical Association is endorsing political newcomer Fiona McFarland over physical therapist Donna Barcomb in House District 72.
The leading Florida doctors organization cited McFarland’s military service.
“Her service in the military is commendable and makes it clear that she will be a great leader for the Sarasota area,” reads a statement from Dr. Doug Murphy, FMA PAC President.
“We are eager to work with her as we focus on the important health care needs of the state.”
The striking part of the gesture lies in choosing the Sarasota Republican over a primary opponent who has a record in health care.
Now a member of the Sarasota County Charter Review Board, Barcomb served three terms on the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board.
Sarasota attorney Jason Miller is also running.
“During this public health emergency, the Florida Medical Association endorsement gives me a sense of pride and responsibility,” McFarland said.
“I stand with our frontline healthcare providers and salute their dedication to public health during this pandemic, and I am honored that they stand with me in my candidacy for state representative.”
The Republican primary is among the hottest in the Sarasota area this year. The winner will attempt to flip the open seat. Incumbent Rep. Margaret Good isn’t seeking reelection and is instead running for Congress.
The winner in the primary will face attorney Drake Buckman, the lone Democrat in the race.
As of July 10, McFarland had $111,895 cash on hand. Barcomb had $68,233, Miller $2,941 and Buckman $23,826.
The general will likely be one of the most important House races in Florida. The district went for Donald Trump in 2016 by a 4% margin. Good won the seat in a 2018 special election and defended it in the general election the same year.
Now, the district represents the rare pickup opportunity for Republicans as Democrats target red districts across the state.