Fiona McFarland holds cash edge over Drake Buckman in final stretch
Fiona McFarland, Drake Buckman

McFarland Buckman
Whatever polls say, she's the one raising and spending massively in HD 72.

Whatever the polls show, Fiona McFarland continues to dominate in fundraising in House District 72.

Looking toward the final stretch of the election, the Sarasota Republican as of Oct. 16 boasts $89,052 in cash on hand. Democrat Drake Buckman holds $70,976.

That’s after a reporting period where McFarland raised $93,364 between Oct. 3 and Oct. 16. Buckman in the same time frame raised $31,650.

That fundraising period notably closed four days before Florida Politics released a poll showing Buckman leading McFarland by 4 percentage points. That likely will fuel fundraising appeals on both sides of the race.

But the most recent records suggest McFarland has the resources to try and close that gap.

She’s blasting her dollars at multi-media marketing. The Sarasota Republican pumped $40,000 on Oct. 6 into such a campaign through Washington, D.C.-based Multi Media Services. Then she made another $40,000 spend with the firm a week later. That suggests a pattern she has the dollars to repeat a couple times before Election Day.

Buckman’s spending, meanwhile, has been with local consultants. He dropped $2,000 with Grossman Public Relations in Sarasota and another $2,000 with North Port consultant Elizabeth Silleck.

On Oct. 15, he spent $15,000 with Osprey-based Blue Ethos Consulting, which specializes in voter targeting. A day later, his campaign released a video ad with Buckman beachside in the coastal district making the environmental case for his campaign.

In  the last fundraising period, the Democratic Executive Committee in Sarasota wrote Buckman a $3,000 check. The Washington, D,C,-based Future Fund Now, which is focused on state legislative wins for Democrats, also gave him $1,000.

The Republican Party of Florida, meanwhile, provided $7,500 of in-kind help, namely with polling of its own for McFarland.

McFarland, in the last reporting period alone, received a total of 57 checks for $1,000 coming from political committees or businesses around the state. Many of those were written the day of a Tallahassee fundraiser organized by Rep. Spencer Roach for a number of Southwest Florida Republicans.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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