Vern Buchanan

National Dems get into Good-Buchanan grudge match

bullseyeNational Democrats have put a target on Congressman Vern Buchanan, adding the Southwest Florida district to its roster of “offensive battlefield” seats.

The latest move makes a total of three Florida seats currently held by Republicans the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hopes to flip next year.

But battle for CD 16 has an interesting twist: State Rep. Margaret Good, a Sarasota Democrat, defeated Buchanan’s son James last year in a high-profile race for the open House seat.

So the battle between Good, a Sarasota lawyer who drew national attention for flipping a seat that had been held by Republicans, and Buchanan, who’s served in Congress for more than a decade, could shape up to be a super Sunshine State grudge match.

Here’s Good’s reaction from a press release issued after the DCCC announced it was adding CD 16 to its targeted congressional seats:

“This campaign is about the people in this district—about healthcare, water quality, and good-paying jobs. We want a representative that listens to and works hard for her constituents. That’s the kind of representative I am and this campaign reflects that work ethic. I welcome everyone and anyone who wants to work for the best interest of the people of our community to join us.” — State Rep. Margaret Good.

And here’s what DCCC Political Director Kory Kozloski said in a memo about the race for CD 16, which includes parts of Sarasota and Manatee counties, and other battleground battles:

  • In 2018, the Democratic House candidate earned 45.4% of the vote, the strongest performance for a Democrat since Florida’s redistricting in 2012, and a 5.2-point improvement on 2016.
  • The district is 32% college educated — outpacing the statewide numbers by 11% — and is almost 90% suburban, a major factor as Republicans struggle to manage a nationwide exodus of suburban voters from the Republican party.

Buchanan now has the dubious distinction of joining Republican U.S. Reps. Ross Spano and Brian Mast on the national Dems’ hit list, a position the congressmen are likely to use to drum up support in GOP circles.


Buchanan to Trump: Support G7 climate pact

buchananGOP Congressman Vern Buchanan is urging President Donald Trump to stick with the Paris climate accord.

Back from a nine-day foreign trip, Trump has said he will make a decision this week on whether the United States should remain a part of the agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During a meeting in Sicily, other members of the Group of 7 — which includes German, France and the United Kingdom — intensely lobbied Trump to reaffirm support for the accord, but the president declined.

Pope Francis also appealed for support of the agreement when Trump and his wife, Melanie, visited the Vatican.

Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, said in a statement today that he would “strongly encourage” Trump to support the Paris pact, arguing that low-lying Florida is particularly at risk.

“Climate change is a serious issue, especially for a state like Florida that has two coastlines vulnerable to rising waters,” Buchanan said. “Only Syria and Nicaragua are not part of the 197-country agreement, which lays out voluntary goals for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”

Buchanan said the U.S. withdrawing from the agreement “would send the wrong message to the world.”

“Protecting the environment and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive. We should be doing everything we can to accomplish both,” he said.