Super Bowl weekend also brought a campaign kickoff on Longboat Key.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan officially launched his 2022 campaign with a fundraiser headlined by House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy spoke highly of Buchan at the Longboat Key Club event. “We have a lot of great members in Florida but only one leader,” McCarthy said.
“There’s no one that works harder than Vern. He does a great job representing his district and his constituents.”
Buchanan, first elected in 2006 by a mere 369 votes, has already drawn fire from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC issued a press release last week when Buchanan voted against stripping controversial Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of committee assignments.
But the eight-term incumbent has faced DCCC-backed opponents before frequently. In 2020, he defeated Democrat Margaret Good by 11 percentage points. In 2018, he bested Democrat David Shapiro by 10. This year, it’s unclear what Democrat may challenge the Congressman again.
The Longboat Key Republican now serves as co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, with Democrat Alcee Hastings. He serves on the powerful House and Ways Committee, where he’s the Republican ranking member on the Trade Subcommittee.
The incumbent noted that he and McCarthy both won election to the House as members of the same class.
“Kevin and I came into Congress at the same time in 2007 and have worked together on critical issues, such as securing our borders, promoting prosperity through low taxes and reducing the federal debt.” Buchanan said. “We have a lot of work ahead, not the least of which is pushing back against Nancy Pelosi’s radical agenda and the [Joe] Biden administration‘s lack of bipartisan outreach.”
Democrats right now hold just an 11-seat majority in the House of Representatives after picking up House seats in the mid-term even while losing the Senate and White House. Florida Republican performed particularly well, flipping two South Florida seats from blue to red and losing none.
In addition to a close relationship to McCarthy, Buchanan is also a mentor to Republican Party of Florida chair Joe Gruters, who previously served as Buchanan’s campaign manager.