Sarasota Republican Fiona McFarland picked up two high-profile endorsements in the House District 72 primary.
Senate President Bill Galvano, who hails from neighboring Senate District 21, and Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, both publicly backed her candidacy.
“Fiona McFarland has the military service and conservative credentials Florida needs,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I’m excited to support her campaign for state representative. Check out her website to learn more about her and her campaign.”
As a favorite of conservative activists and with a perfect pedigree for a presidential election year primary, the Trump backing could boost McFarland at a time when she wants to rally the party faithful around her candidacy. The good words also come as her main primary opponent, Donna Barcomb, paints McFarland as weak on opposing Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter
Notably, McFarland’s mother, K.T. McFarland, served as President Trump’s first deputy national security advisor.
Galvano could be important both because of his credibility as a leader in the Florida Legislature and as a popular politician in Southwest Florida. He served Manatee County in the House before moving to the Senate.
“As Senate President, I care about Florida’s future and the region I was fortunate to represent for almost two decades,” said Galvano. “Fiona McFarland will carry on the tradition of servant-leadership that the people of Southwest Florida have come to demand and expect from their representatives.”
McFarland embraced the support of the Senate President, which came a day before early voting begins in Sarasota.
“Senate President Galvano’s leadership and stewardship of our state is part of what inspired me to run,” said McFarland. “I’m honored he approves of and endorses my candidacy.”
The House District 72 holds promise as a rare pickup opportunity for Republicans this year. Incumbent Rep. Margaret Good flipped the seat blue in 2018 but it running this year for Congress.
McFarland faces Barcomb and Sarasota attorney Jason Miller in the primary. The winner will face Democrat Drake Buckman in the general election.