James Buchanan running for state House again

After losing special election in District 72, son of Congressman looks to District 74.

Looking to bounce back from his loss in the District 72 state House special election, Sarasota real estate professional James Buchanan announced Friday that he will run for the District 74 House seat being vacated by Rep. Julio Gonzalez.

“My passion is to serve the men and women of Sarasota County,” Buchanan said Friday after filing his paperwork to run.

Buchanan, the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, lost to Siesta Key Democrat Margaret Good in the closely watched District 72 contest last month. But District 74 leans significantly more Republican.

While President Donald Trump carried District 72 by less than five percentage points, Trump carried District 74 by 23 percentage points.

District 74 encompasses the communities of Nokomis, Venice, North Port and Englewood in southern Sarasota County, and eastern Sarasota County south of Clark Road. Buchanan, 36, owns a home near downtown Sarasota, but state law only requires that he live in the district by Election Day.

Buchanan said he owns multiple investment properties in Venice and plans to move there.

This is the third state House district in which Buchanan has filed to run during the past year. Before switching to run in District 72, he was filed to run in District 71, which includes western Manatee County and part of northern Sarasota County.

The District 72 seat became available when former GOP state Rep. Alex Miller unexpectedly resigned. The District 74 seat is coming open because Gonzalez, R-Venice, is running for Congress. Buchanan said he did not intend to run for multiple districts and simply is reacting to the opportunities that present themselves.

After running once and losing, Buchanan said he gained valuable experience that will make him a stronger candidate.

“In 72, I was a first-time candidate,” he said. “You learn what to expect. You make a lot of friends along the way.”

North Port Republican Nicholas Trolli and North Port Democrat Yves Junior Chery also are filed to run in District 74, and other Republicans are eyeing the seat.

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