Good Promises Strong Advocacy in District 72 Race

Politics

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY JAN 31, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series profiling candidates for state House District 72

Margaret Good is counting on voters being angry right now. Amid successful fundraising and nonstop canvassing, the state House candidate says there are plenty of reasons to believe the voters in District 72 are ready for change. “People are fed up with the Legislature in Tallahassee,” she says. “We’ve got some really good momentum going into the last weeks of this campaign.”

The Democrat knows she’s fighting uphill in a district that went for Donald Trump in the 2016 elections and where the past office-holder, Republican Alex Miller, was elected with 58 percent of the vote. But there’s plenty of reason for her to think the race is headed in the right direction. She won her party nomination with 72.4 percent of the primary vote. Then in December, she raised almost $107,000 in contributions while Republican James Buchanan pulled in $55,500. A StPetePolls.org survey of voters last week showed Buchanan up by 3 points, within the margin of error, and showed Good winning among voters who’d already cast ballots. Her campaign just sent out a notice that gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham would participate in a canvassing event this Saturday. The race shows indications of being very close, and Good says area Democrats know it.

As she knocks on doors and talks at candidate forums, she has stressed support for public education and environmental protections. “Voters are not happy we're not protecting the environment and are not happy we aren’t prepared for hurricanes,” she says. Good would like the region better postured for the next hurricane, specifically by having more shelters ready to serve residents. “And we need to make sure our nursing homes have adequate generators and make sure their residents are not dying when the power goes out,” she says.

As for education, her chief concern has been a push to redirect funding away from public schools. “I do not think we should give public funding for for-profit charter schools,” she says. “We need to invest in our public education system; it’s been flat over the past 10 years and we need to make an actual investment so that every child in Florida has the opportunity to succeed.”

Meanwhile, she’s turned attention on contrasting with her Republican opponent. While he’s run on a biography as a business owner, Good has repeatedly question his low reported income compared to his real estate holdings. Buchanan in turn has questioned her work as lawyer, saying she has represented clients working against families in Florida. Good brushes off criticisms about her courthouse work. “It’s a gross mischaracterization of the work done in my professional career,” she says, “But voters, I think, have recognized that it means I am working for a living, and they wants somebody who works."

“I am not even sure he works as a Realtor,” she says. “The difference is clear. I am working hard. I advocate for clients and I do a really good job at it.”

Good faces Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in a special election on Feb. 13 in District 72. All registered voters within the district can vote in the election.

Photo courtesy Good campaign: Margaret Good speaks with voters at an event.

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