Wave watch: Democrat wins Trump district in Sarasota special election

Democrat Margaret Good won a special state House election in a Sarasota district that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Democrat Margaret Good won a special state House election in Republican Sarasota County on Tuesday night in a race that drew national attention as the latest indicator of a potential Democratic anti-Donald Trump wave in the 2018 midterm elections.

In a district where Republicans have a 9-point registration advantage and Trump won in 2016, liberal Good got 52.2 percent to 44.8 percent for Republican James Buchanan, the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski campaigned with Buchanan at a Sunday rally that included a chant of “Lock her up!” and a challenge to Republicans to deliver a pro-Trump statement to the “fake news” media, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

“Let me just say this, you guys have an election on Tuesday,” Lewandowski told a crowd of about 200, according to the Herald-Tribune. “The fake news is going to watch you. The failing New York Times wants to write that James Buchanan lost the seat and that Donald Trump cannot carry a candidate anymore. That’s what they want. You cannot allow it.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Florida’s Democratic candidates for governor campaigned for Good and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez issued a celebratory statement less than an hour after the polls closed Tuesday night.

“Congratulations to Representative-elect Margaret Good on her victory tonight’s special election, which flipped yet another Republican-held seat from red to blue in a district that Trump carried in 2016. Just like we did last year with Annette Taddeo, Democrats are organizing, investing, and winning elections across Florida as voters reject Rick Scott and Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda,” Perez said.

Taddeo won a September special election in a Miami Senate district that Republicans had won in 2016. But that election was less troubling for Republicans than Tuesday night’s contest. The district Taddeo won voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump and had been held by a Democrat before 2016.

Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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