U.S. Vern Buchanan newest ad stresses accomplishments over three presidential administrations.
That includes passing 22 legislative initiatives signed into law by Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump and by Democrat Barack Obama.
“He’s not a ceremonial congressman, he’s a working congressman,” says Mayor Wayne Poston in the ad’s opening narration.
In a nearly four-minute mini-documentary, local officials and community leaders describe the Sarasota Republican as a Congressman focused on results. It includes testimonials from officials like Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, who was elected in 2006, the same year Buchanan first won his seat in Congress.
Whitmore describes Buchanan as someone who focuses on producing for his district.
“Some say they do, but he actually does,” she says in the ad.
The Max Goodman-directed spot does more than spit out a few soundbites. Rather, it lays a thematic foundation and core message for the seven-term incumbent’s reelection campaign. It’s clearly too long a cut to fit in a traditional broadcast television time slot. Rather, the Buchanan campaign said it will play along all digital platforms, targeting voters in Florida’s 16th Congressional District in Facebook feeds and YouTube intros.
There, it’s clear the campaign aims to reach swing voters as Buchanan faces a challenge from Democratic state lawmaker Margaret Good.
Biographical portions of the video stress Buchanan’s upbringing in a working class family.
“Vern Buchanan didn’t come from much,” a narrator explains, “but it was those humble beginnings that would guide his early years through the business world and eventually through the halls of Congress.”
“I’m surprised to even be a member of Congress,” Buchanan says in an interview. ”I’m just shocked that I never thought about running as a blue-collar kid, and then this opportunity came up, but I’d been in business 30 years before that and it was a way of trying to give something back.”
That hits on a message core to Buchanan’s entire political career, that public service is a calling even though he’s consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
“Vern doesn’t have to do this job,” Whitmore says in the ad. “He does it because he wants to do it.”
Buchanan, a past chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, found success selling cars before making laws. But he said getting results is the principal focus of his work in Washington.
“It’s not always about making more money or the next deal,” Buchanan said. “For me, It’s about making a difference.”
The ad tells the story of his delivering Detroit News editions as a child well before he ever made his first million. It also goes into Buchanan’s upbringing by a factory worker father who worked two jobs to provide for six children. He recalls asking why his father worked afternoons, and was told the pay was a dime more per hour for that shift.
“I just remember that,” Buchanan said, “and so that’s a lot of what motivates me personally.”
Th ad stresses Buchanan’s history as a workhorse, not a show horse. The 22 legislative initiatives passed into law compares to one bill passed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who leveraged libertarian rhetoric into multiple presidential runs. Buchanan-backed measures, spotlighted in a series of local media clips, includes the recently-signed PACT Act and sanctions regarding shipment of Fentanyl.
Between testimonials, there’s footage of landmarks in Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties, including pictures of Buchanan walking through Downtown Sarasota with a face mask on. A narrator says the leader’s experience will prove especially valuable as the region recovers economically from the pandemic.
“We’ve got to work together to make this a better place,” he said. “It can’t be all about partisan politics, and we’ve got plenty of that on both sides. I take a different mindset.”