Cook shifts House race of lawmaker who bought multimillion dollar yacht away from GOP

Cook shifts House race of lawmaker who bought multimillion dollar yacht away from GOP
© Greg Nash

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has shifted its prediction for Rep. Vern BuchananVernon Gale BuchananMORE's (R-Fla.) congressional seat toward Democrats after a report that he bought a yacht on the same day the GOP's tax cuts passed the House.

Cook, a popular elections handicapper, shifted Buchanan's race from a "likely Republican" seat to a "lean Republican" seat on Friday. The analysts also moved four other congressional races in favor of Democrats. 

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Local media reports have publicized a new disclosure Buchanan made that shows a purchase from Ocean Alexander, a yacht company, of between $1 million and $5 million on the day of the vote.

Democrats have seized on the purchase as another avenue for attacks on the tax law, which they have framed as prioritizing the wealthy over middle-class Americans. Republicans bristle at that attack, pointing to economic growth and job creation numbers, along with that fact many Americans did see their taxes decrease. 

Max Goodman, Buchanan's campaign manager, blasted the report as a "coordinated attack four months before the election" in a statement to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

"Vern has owned boats for more than 20 years," Goodman added.

Buchanan has been in Congress since 2007.

Florida's primary day isn't until August, so it's unclear which Democrat will be running against Buchanan in the November midterm elections. Two attorneys, David Shapiro and Jan Schneider, are the front-runners on the Democratic side.

Along with Buchanan's race, Cook also shifted four other seats currently held by the GOP in favor of Democrats.

Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisGOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts Cook shifts House race of lawmaker who bought multimillion dollar yacht away from GOP Jordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain MORE (R-Ill.) saw his race move from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican," while Reps. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) and Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinPelosi sees defections from an unusual quarter — the left GOP lawmaker: 'I do not support' impeaching Rosenstein Cook shifts House race of lawmaker who bought multimillion dollar yacht away from GOP MORE (R-Maine) are now rated as "toss ups."

The open seat being vacated by Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisElection Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' Sanders to campaign for Florida Dem governor candidate Jimmy Buffett endorses Dem in Florida governor race MORE (R-Fla), who is running for governor, was shifted from "solid Republican" to "likely Republican."