Buchanan, Mowry, Kaplan Jockey to Prove Authenticity



Commitment to the south Sarasota County community has driven a significant amount of debate in the contest for state House in District 74. Republican James Buchanan, Democrat Tony Mowry and independent Robert Samuel Kaplan all hope voters see them as the true members of the community that should take their needs to Tallahassee.

Buchanan, the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, has faced questions about his commitment to the region after running for state House in three districts within two years. But he says his roots to the region are deep. After incumbent Julio Gonzalez announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in District 74, Buchanan said voters approached him about running. Now, he’s running on a pro-Second Amendment, pro-environmental platform.

“As a young man I worked at Mote Marine Laboratory,” Buchanan said. “I took time on my weekends and I fed the manatees. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart.” He said he’d fight for research dollars so scientists can better study red tide algal blooms.

Mowry, a North Port attorney, said he’s lived and raised his family in North Port rather than moving his address around the region. In this heavily Republican district, he hopes voters this year put a higher priority of electing a representative of the people who will push back on special interest influence in Tallahassee. He favors expanding background checks on gun purchases and properly funding Florida Forever.

“We need to hold polluters accountable, which has not been done in the years of one-party rule in this state,” Mowry says. “That’s led to the removal of growth management policies.” The Democrat wants to restore rescinded water management regulations and better monitor nutrient discharges.

Kaplan, who previously ran against Gonzalez for this seat, said he left the Republican Party over poor leadership on a variety of issues. He said representatives need to protect the middle class and stop government from picking people’s pockets. “I don’t mind paying my fair share for infrastructure,” he said. 

But he’s frustrated to see cuts to education and disabilities needs. He wants Tallahassee to ensure a business environment for small business to flourish, and which also will make sure Floridians have proper access to healthcare.

Photo by Jacob Ogles: James Buchanan, Robert Samuel Kaplan and Tony Mowry debate at Tiger Bay.

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