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Delirious Democrats welcome Margaret Good to Capitol

Published Feb. 14, 2018

Democrats in Tallahassee were delirious with joy Wednesday as they welcomed Margaret Good, who handily won a special House election Tuesday in Sarasota.

Good, who received standing ovations at a House Democratic Caucus meeting, became a national symbol of what Democrats hope will be a "blue wave," an anti-Donald Trump, anti-Republican tsunami in 2018.

Good got 52 percent of the vote in a three-way race, defeating James Buchanan, the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, and a Libertarian candidate.

"This should put all Republicans on notice that it could be a very difficult year, if you're an incumbent, to survive," said Rep. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota and an enthusiastic supporter of the president. "Even relatively safe seats could be in play in 2018."

Democrats knocked on thousands of doors and flooded the district with volunteers, money and big endorsements such as former Vice President Joe Biden.

Gruters complimented Good for running a strong race, but he said she got plenty of outside help that she won't have when political resources have to be spread more widely.

"I think we'll win the seat back in November," Gruters predicted.

"We'll see about that," Good told the Times/Herald. "People are fed up with what is happening up here. They want real representation. They want strong public education. They want environmental protections. They want people really talking about health care."

Good will replace former Republican Rep. Alex Miller, who resigned last fall. She's the 41st Democrat in a 120-member House, with three vacant seats.