McFarland, Reich Bring Different Spins on Freedom

Todays News

Photo: Fiona McFarland, Derek Reich

With the primary season closed, attention could focus on a routinely swingy state House district in Sarasota. State Rep. Fiona McFarland this year faces Democrat Derek Reich in House District 73.

McFarland won the seat in 2020, flipping the open seat red after taking 54.6% of the vote to Democrat Drake Buckman’s 45.4%. She’s confident the work done over her first two years in office warrants re-election.

“I’m looking forward to the campaign and hearing from my constituents about how I can best represent them next session,” McFarland said. “I have some new geography in my district due to redistricting, so their perspective and voices will be important to hear. The campaign in 2020 was so unique due to COVID, so for many folks this will be our first chance to talk in person.”

She’ll have plenty to talk about from her fight for data privacy to various business protections passed during the pandemic.

Of course, Reich plans to focus on other parts of the record for McFarland and the Republican-controlled Legislature. A teacher at Sarasota High School, Reich took particular offense as a House budget that at one point planned to deny $12 million for the Sarasota County Schools over a disagreement on a School Board mask mandate. But he sees a variety of stances taken by House leadership that fly in the face of the “free state of Florida” message espoused.

“This race is about one thing: freedom versus authoritarianism,” he said. “I am the freedom candidate. I am pro-freedom. I am proudly pro-choice and believe every woman has the freedom to control her own body.”

He plans to run against a 15-week abortion ban with no rape or incest exceptions passed by the Legislature with McFarland’s support. He will also run against legislation allowing outside individuals to challenge school instructional materials. “The Governor took away parental rights,” he said, again countering the characterization Gov. Ron DeSantis uses for his education policies. “He took away my mother’s ability to decide what her 16-year-old and 17-year-old at North Port High School will read.”

Democrats hope voters will be receptive. This is a district where Republicans Donald Trump barely came out ahead in the 2020 presidential election, winning 49.7% of the vote to Democrat Joe Biden’s 49.34%.

But it’s also a race where McFarland as an incumbent boasts far greater than Reich has collected thus far as a first-time candidate. Through Aug. 26, the Republican raised $187,515 to the Democrat’s $31,093.

 

 

Photo: Fiona McFarland, Derek Reich

« View The Monday Sep 5, 2022 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Buchanan Unveils Plan to Preserve Trump Tax Cuts

Buchanan Unveils Plan to Preserve Trump Tax Cuts

Jacob Ogles | Sep 22, 2022

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Edwards

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Edwards

Jacob Ogles | Sep 15, 2022

Ziegler Takes National Post With Leadership Institute

Ziegler Takes National Post With Leadership Institute

Jacob Ogles | Sep 12, 2022

Keuther Combines Real Estate Background, Smart Growth Agenda

Keuther Combines Real Estate Background, Smart Growth Agenda

Jacob Ogles | Sep 8, 2022