Buchanan Promotes Pro-Business Platform



The prospect of a special election in state House District 72 has the political class swirling in an odd-numbered year. Five candidates have filed to run in Sarasota-based district, but the first to announce remains the best-funded with the most recognized name. James Buchanan even comes before his opponents alphabetically. But what does he stand far? The Republican says he will run on a pro-business platform and promises conservative representation for the area in Tallahassee.

“I want to create an environment where small business owners can three and create more jobs,” Buchanan says. “As far as regulations are concerned, less regulations are better.” 

He also wants to focus in on frivolous lawsuits, a long-time bugaboo to state Chamber of Commerce leaders and something Buchanan says creates a burden for business in the Sunshine State. A real estate professional himself, he says many business owners he takes on as clients complain that insurance rates in Florida run as much as twice as high as companies charge in the Midwest.

For now, he’s not tackling issues like Florida’s use of business incentives, a matter who caused a schism this year between the pro-Enterprise Florida Gov. Rick Scott and state Speaker Richard Corcoran, who said incentives programs were unfair and ripe with abuse. But the parties ultimately reached a deal for funding some incentives. “Changes are already in place,” Buchanan notes. He praised both Buchanan and Corcoran for displaying “great leadership.”

Buchanan previously planned to run next year for state House in District 71, the Manatee-centric district where state Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, will retire because of term limits. But when state Rep. Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, announced her resignation in August, Buchanan announced the same day. He noted he grew up in District 72, graduating from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High. 

Buchanan’s father, Vern Buchanan, has served as the U.S. congressman for the area since 2006, so he can tap into that network of support. Indeed, he’s already raised $165,835 in contributions, most of that during the run up to the District 71 campaign. But these advantages also put a target on Buchanan’s back. Is he an opportunist switching districts and running on his father’s name? Buchanan knows he has to address that. “I’m my own man, and I intend to work extremely hard to prove that,” he says. “I’m going to work every day, knock on as many doors and shake as many hands as I need to to win this thing.”

Buchanan right now faces Republican Alexandra Coe in a Dec. 5 Republican primary. Democrats Margaret Rowell Good and Ruta Jouniari have also filed, as has Libertarian Alison Foxall. The special election is set for Feb. 13.

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