Fiona McFarland holds nearly $100K in campaign, another $100K with her committee

McFarland, Fiona
She's running in a divided district but starts the cycle with a money advantage.

Rep. Fiona McFarland raised almost $10,000 in March for her re-election campaign and another $3,000 for a political committee.

That means the Sarasota Republican boasts $98,954 in cash on hand in her official candidate account and another $96,797 with a committee. That’s a solid stash as the freshman lawmaker runs for re-election in one of the most closely divided House districts in Florida.

McFarland won election in 2020, when she flipped a seat red that was previously held by Democrat Margaret Good. Still, she had not drawn opposition for re-election until last month, when Democrat Derek Reich, a Sarasota High teacher, filed to challenge her in House District 73.

Her most recent donations have come from individuals including SOMA Global founder Peter Quintas. She did cash $1,000 checks in May from two political committees connected to the Florida Bar, the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law PAC and the RPPTL-PAC.

Her expenditures this cycle have been modest, with her making payments to treasurer Eric Robinson and paying processing fees on donations.

There’s been more spending activity on the committee side. Friends of Sarasota, a political committee formed by McFarland in 2019 for her first campaign, collected one large check worth $3,000 from T-Mobile in May. But it disbursed close to $10,000.

Most of that went to other campaigns and political entities. She sent $1,000 to support Rep. Jim Mooney’s re-election bid in House District 120, and another $1,000 to support Republican candidate Brad Yeager as he runs to succeed Rep. Amber Mariano in House District 56.

The committee also kicked $7,500 toward Building Florida’s Future, a Tallahassee political committee chaired by Bill Jones.

Reich has yet to file his initial financial report. Once he does, it will indicate how much of a fight McFarland may face in November.

This cycle, she has been spared a Primary opponent for now. But this district could be a battleground in November. Under new lines drawn as part of the decennial redistricting process, HD 73 now rides the coast of Sarasota County. Republican Donald Trump won the district in the 2020 Presidential Election, but just barely with 49.7% of the vote to Democrat Joe Biden’s 49.34% of the vote.

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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