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In Sarasota County, GOP incumbents are reelected and a penny sales tax passes

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla, speaks during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington.
U.S. Senate
Pool Washington Examiner
Republican Greg Steube retained his seat in Florida's 17th congressional district, which includes parts of Sarasota, Charlotte and northeast Lee counties.

Republicans Greg Steube will return to Congress and Fiona McFarland retained her seat in the state Legislature.

Incumbent Republican Greg Steube beat out Democratic Andrea Kale for the seat representing Florida's 17th congressional district, which includes parts of Sarasota, Charlotte and northeast Lee counties.

In state House District 73, which covers coastal Sarasota, a school teacher lost his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Fiona McFarland, a Navy veteran and former business consultant.

Derek Reich, a 27-year-old government teacher at Sarasota High,ran on a platform of promoting a fair civics curriculum in classrooms.

Sarasota County voters also approved the extension of a 1 percent sales tax, which will apply to purchases under $5,000. The penny tax is added to the state's 6 percent sales tax.

County officials say about a quarter of the tax revenue is generated by tourists, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Here are the results of key races in Sarasota County:


State House of Representatives

District 73:

  • McFarland, Fiona  (REP) - 56.43%
  • Reich, Derek  (DEM) - 44.57%

County Commissioner, District 2

  • Mark Smith (REP) - 50.72%
  • Fredd "Glossie" Atkins (DEM) - 49.28%

County Commissioner, District 4

  • Joseph Neunder (REP) - 59.5%
  • Daniel Kuether (DEM) - 40.5%

County Referendum

Continue 1-Cent Sales Tax for Local Improvements

  • Yes - 77.92%
  • No - 22.08%

Voters approved a penny sales tax to improve public safety, protect water quality and the environment, reduce traffic congestion, and fund projects relating to local schools, parks, libraries, and other community needs.