TAMPA — It almost certainly wasn’t planned, but GOP incumbent Vern Buchanan and his Democratic challenger Margaret Good both choose Monday to unveil their first campaign videos as they vie for the 16th U.S. Congressional District.
Buchanan, a congressman since 2007, released a 60-second digital ad highlighting his work reforming military training following the death of Spc. Nicholas Panipinto, a Bradenton soldier killed in South Korea after his vehicle rolled over during an exercise.
In it, Panipinto’s father, Anthony Panipinto, praises Buchanan for taking action after the tragedy. Buchanan got an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring a review of emergency medical services at U.S. bases.
“Never really felt like the common person had a voice until now,” he said.
Good, who is giving up a seat in the Florida House of Representatives to challenge Buchanan, also debuted ad on Monday, a 30-second TV spot called “Anyone.” It touts her as someone who will work with politicians from both sides of the aisle to get results.
“Right now, nothing is getting done because our politicians are more concerned with their party than with the people they serve,” she said in the video.
The 16th Congressional District covers Manatee County, Sarasota and southern Hillsborough, including Sun City Center and parts of Fish Hawk, Gibsonton and Riverview.
Good faces an uphill battle to win the seat, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which ranks the seat as “Likely Republican.”
Federal Election Commission reports show Good has raised $1.8 million and has spent about $757,000. Buchanan has spent about $1.4 million from a total of $3 million raised. That total includes $500,000 he loaned to his campaign fund in the past two years.
Tampa Bay Times elections coverage
POSTAL SERVICE CONCERNS: What’s going on with the U.S. Postal Service and should Florida be worried?
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.