Democrat Nancy Simpson challenging James Buchanan in HD 74
Nancy Simpson. Image via Simpson campaign.

Nancy Simpson
She ran last year for a Charter Review post.

Nancy Simpson believes South Sarasota County wants to see a change in Tallahassee. The Venice Democrat has filed to challenge state Rep. James Buchanan in House District 74.

“It’s time for a change in scenery,” Simpson said. “The incumbent is riding his daddy’s coattails. He’s not here for Sarasota. He’s in office for a selfish agenda and profit, which doesn’t make him a good candidate.”

Buchanan, a Venice Republican, won his seat in the House in 2018 and is expected to run for a fourth and final term before facing term limits. He’s also the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican.

Simpson, an urban planning consultant, ran unsuccessfully last year for a seat on the Sarasota County Charter Review Board, losing to Republican Alexandra Coe.

She’s starting her campaign early this time, starting with a listening tour through local Democratic clubs and caucuses this month and into early July. She’s also getting the basic infrastructure of her campaign together now.

A chief concern she has are the state’ developer-friendly laws and the heavy influence of development on local politics.

“We are getting lost in the noise,” she said. “It’s becoming too expensive to live where we work and that’s not OK. I understand the need for tourism, and I recognize what is happening with an artificial housing bubble. Developers are stuffing the pockets of county and city councils to rubber-stamp whatever projects they want, as we saw with the comprehensive plan amendment Pat Neal pushed through.”

Neal is a former state Senator, founder of Neal Communities and a major Republican donor.

Of course, land-use decisions typically fall to county or local governments, including the recent comp plan approvals referenced by Simpson, and Simpson, one the only planner for Minot, North Dakota, said she nearly ran for County Commission this year. But she decided against a run for an open District 1 Commission seat, and chose to challenge Buchanan for his House post instead.

At the moment, only Republicans represent Sarasota County in the Legislature, but Simpson said there’s a hunger to change that. Especially in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which hit south Sarasota County last year, she said voters want officials who don’t just sign off on the desires of developers.

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].

One comment

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 15, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Wake up Republican Party of Florida,
    You saw Duvall County slip into darkness when they failed to take Earl Pitts American’s advice to ditch the hard tail and get their own Republican Hot MiIF to run against Deegan.
    As you can see its time to recruit your own Republican Hot MiIF to retain the seat for The Party. You can go ahead and make the call to Buchanan and tell him he’s out. Dont wait until you have your own Hot MiLF in place; give Buchanan the boot up the dook today.
    I, Earl Pitts American, have a stable of Hot MiLF’s to pull from. As a matter of fact I will choose which of my Republican Hot MiLF’s we will run in Buchanan’s place.
    Bottom line: Buchanan will totally loose to the Dem’s Hot MiLF…just look at her pic she’s tots hot.
    Thank you Republican Party of Florida,
    Earl Pitts American

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