James Buchanan raised $50K in run-up to Legislative Session
James Buchanan.

He collected quite a few checks in the first 10 days of January.

Rep. James Buchanan raised more than $50,000 in the lead-up to the 2022 Legislative Session.

His campaign reports that in the first 10 days of January, the Venice Republican’s re-election campaign pulled in $26,300 in new donations. Those checks arrived before a moratorium on fundraising during Session kicked in on Jan. 11. That brings the two-term lawmaker’s total to $78,150 raised as he prepares to run again.

His political committee, Buchanan For Florida, collected another $26,500. The associated committee has tallied $134,500 in contributions to support the lawmaker’s political goals.

Subtract expenses, and it leaves Buchanan with $118,309 in cash on hand between the campaign account and committee coffers.

The incumbent remains the only candidate who has filed for House District 74, but both draft redistricting maps published so far put Buchanan in the same district as a House colleague.

One map (H 8005) places him with Rep. Fiona McFarland, a Sarasota Republican. The other (H 8007) places him with Rep. Tommy Gregory, another Sarasota Republican. And while many expect McFarland may move out of Buchanan’s district in the event of shared territory, no one expects the same of Gregory.

That means Buchanan may find himself in a Republican Primary with another Sarasota County Legislative Delegation member.

So who’s backing Buchanan? The Venice lawmaker cashed $1,000 checks from Douglas Jeep, a car dealership in his district. Buchanan notably comes from a family of auto dealers, including his father, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican. Other businesses giving $1,000 donations include Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, First Service Residential Florida, TECO Energy and the Sarasota Kennel Club.

Florida Beer Wholesalers Good Government Committee also donated $1,000 to his campaign. So did the Florida Citrus Mutual PAC and the Realtors PAC. The Southern Group wrote a $1,000 check of its own.

Individual donors giving the maximum amount include insurance professionals Kathleen Gratz and Heather, Keith and Matthew Mercier, physicians Jaqueline and Thomas Kelly, real estate developer Michael Neal, business strategist Andrew Sherwin, independent contractor Tom Buckley, philanthropists Graci and Dennis McGillicuddy, and Walmart heir and Arvest Bank Group CEO Jim Walton.

As for the committee, $5,000 checks rang in from Braman Motors, NOMI Health and the Florida Justice PC. Ygrene Energy Fund donated $2,500, as did Pensacola law firm Levin Papantonio Rafferty. Dennis McGillicuddy cut a $3,000 check to the committee on top of his campaign donation. And The Vogel Group in Washington also gave $1,000.

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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