Martin Hyde qualifies to challenge Vern Buchanan in CD 16
Martin Hyde will face Vern Buchanan.

He will follow through despite negative publicity over viral video of a traffic stop.

Sarasota Republican Martin Hyde qualified to challenge U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, in an August Primary.

Hyde paid a qualifying fee to run in Florida’s 16th Congressional District, settling speculation on whether he would follow through with a run. Monday marked the first day when candidates for Congress in Florida could qualify.

“For me, it’s really simple,” Hyde said. “It’s finishing what you started.”

He’s doing so despite signaling in February he might end his candidacy after a body cam video of a traffic stop went viral of Hyde threatening a police officer’s job if she wrote him a ticket.

“This is about not being canceled, not that I didn’t deserve to be canceled on some level,” he said. “But these things should be on issues.”

He hopes voters ultimately judge him on his agenda, not his personality. “I always had a point to make and it’s been somewhat lost in the noise,” he said.

That point? He believes Buchanan’s voting record doesn’t match the conservative ideals on which he campaigns. Hyde pointed to recent railing by Buchanan about gas prices when he was one of three House Republicans to support the Paris climate accord. And while the Congressman voted against a gun control package during an election year, he supported universal background checks in a separate vote last year.

At the same time, Hyde knows a Primary will be an uphill battle. Buchanan is in line to lead the powerful House Ways and Means Committee if Republicans win a House majority in November. He also picked up the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, despite Hyde hiring close Trump confidant Roger Stone for his campaign.

But Hyde continues to campaign, operating largely with personal funds. He just released a new ad based on Apple’s classic Mac vs. PC videos posing his conservative views against a liberal, who is stuffing a ballot dropbox and at one point identifies as transgender.

In other news about CD 16 qualification, Democrat Jan Schneider also qualified in the district. She had considered whether, under a new congressional map, to run against Buchanan or U.S. Rep. Greg Steube in Florida’s 17th Congressional District. Both districts lean strongly Republican, and she has run against Buchanan a number of times before and decided to continue that in 2022. To date she is the only Democrat running in the district.

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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