A front-runner in a Southwest Florida Senate race made clear which Republican he wants representing a neighboring House district.
Bradenton Republican Jim Boyd endorsed Fiona McFarland in the high-profile House District 72 primary.
“A vote for Fiona is an investment in the future,” Boyd said. “Her record of service, ability to listen and tireless work ethic will make her a great representative for the people of Sarasota, and that’s why I endorse her candidacy.”
Boyd served eight years in the Florida House, representing District 71 most recently. When he first won election in 2010, he represented some communities that are now part of District 72.
He’s now running to succeed Senate President Bill Galvano in Senate District 21.
McFarland faces Sarasota County Charter Review Board member Donna McFarland and Sarasota lawyer Jason Miller. While Boyd is running in a Manatee County-centric district, McFarland said she’s excited to have his support.
“Jim’s blessing means the world to me,” McFarland said. “I admire his style of leadership and record of service to our region, and would be honored to serve in Tallahassee with him.”
The district promises to remain home to heavy political campaigning straight into the general election. It’s held now by Democrat Margaret Good, who chose to run for Congress rather than seek reelection.
Good flipped the district with a 7-percentage-point win in a 2018 special election, then won reelection by less than 2 percentage points in November the same year. In the last Presidential election, Trump won the district by just over 4 percentage points.
Republicans see the race as a rare pickup opportunity in a year that may otherwise prove challenging. Both McFarland and Barcomb have heavily out-raised Democrat Drake Buckman. But while the Sarasota lawyer faces no opposition for the Democratic nomination, the GOP battle has been increasingly negative and costly.
Boyd also faces a Republican challenge from John ‘Mr. Manners’ Houman, with Democrat Amanda Linton waiting in the general election.