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Two Buchanans, two victories

Incumbent member of the U.S. House of Representatives wins seventh term, son takes State House seat.

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  • | 1:46 p.m. November 6, 2018
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan celebrates his victory Tuesday night with his son, James, who won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan celebrates his victory Tuesday night with his son, James, who won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives.
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Congressman Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key won a seventh term Tuesday night, defeating Democratic challenger David Shapiro by 5 percentage points.

The Republican, who represents the northern half of Sarasota County, along with Manatee County and portions of southern Hillsborough,   carried his home island of Longboat Key with 51% of the Sarasota vote and 64% in Manatee.

In all, Buchanan received 148,799 votes (53%) to Shapiro’s 131,435 (47%) with all but four Hillsborough County precincts reporting.

As Buchanan took the stage at a GOP celebration in Sarasota on Tuesday, he thanked volunteers and voters. “It’s not about me,” Buchanan said to the crowd. “It’s about you. “

Buchanan said the campaign taught him that a positive vision and listening to people can lead to success. “The size of our win tonight is humbling,” he said.

Buchanan lives in Longboat Key with his wife of more than 40 years. Vern and Sandy Buchanan have two grown sons, James and Matt.

James won a seat in the Florida legislature Tuesday night, winning his race in District 74 against Democrat Tony Mowry and Robert Kaplan, who ran without party affiliation.

In other election outcomes:

  • A proposed $65 million bond to fund the extension of the Legacy Trail passed with 70.5% of the vote. An amendment that sought to change County Commission elections succeeded as 60.1% of voters supported a shift to single-member districts. Voters approved two proposals related to the County Commission’s 2016 decision to vacate a segment of Beach Road on Siesta Key. An amendment requiring the county to reacquire and reopen the street to vehicular traffic earned 65% of the vote. Another amendment prohibiting the sale of county parkland and right-of-way near bodies of water earned 72.6%. Two amendments on procedures related to the charter amendment process passed. A proposal to increase the number of signatures required to get an amendment on the ballot drew support from 58% of voters. An amendment that requires votes on Charter Review Board proposals to be held during general elections, rather than any countywide election, had the endorsement of 62% of voters.
  • Christian Ziegler and Al Maio emerged victorious from Sarasota County Commission races, maintaining the Republican Party’s dominance of the local governing body. In District 2, Ziegler earned 55.6% of the vote to defeat Democrat Ruta Maria Jouniari. Ziegler will take the seat of outgoing commissioner Paul Caragiulo. In District 4, Maio earned 53.9% of the vote.  The victorious commissioners will be sworn in at a ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 20. 
  • In the city of Sarasota, voters approved a city charter amendment that moves municipal elections from March and May of even-numbered years to August and November of even numbered years. The proposal earned support from 63.4% of voters in Tuesday’s election.
  • In the race for the 71st district of the State House, Republican Will Robinson defeated Tracy Pratt by nearly 11 points.
  • In Manatee School Board, District 4, Scott Hopes defeated Joe Stokes 52% to 48%. 
  • In the race for Manatee County Commission's at-large seat, Carol Whitmore defeated Candace Luther 63% to 37%.
  • A measure to change Manatee County School Board to single-member districts passed 


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