Could a Congressman like Eric Cantor Fall in Florida's Primaries?

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: June 12, 2014 3:55 AM
John Mica, Ted Yoho, Ander Crenshaw

John Mica, Ted Yoho, Ander Crenshaw

David Brat might have knocked off Eric Cantor this week in one of the biggest congressional upsets in years but it will be hard for a repeat performance when Florida voters hit the polls for the primaries in August.

Florida has certainly seen candidates come out of nowhere to defeat congressmen in the primaries before. In fact it happened in 2012 when Ted Yoho defeated Cliff Stearns. But it will be hard for a repeat performance this time out.

District 1
: Jeff Miller tangles with John Krause in the Republican primary. Miller is flying high for the moment, especially after his run on the national stage as focus turned to Eric Shinseki and VA hospitals. In his past bids, Krause never caught fire and there is nothing to indicate things will be different this time out.

District 3: Yoho has made a habit of sticking his foot in his mouth but he is very popular in this rural district. The right candidate who could take Clay County from him and be competitive in the rural counties might be able to topple Yoho in the primary but he would have to run a near perfect campaign. With his role-playing hobby making national headlines, it doesn’t look like Jake Rush is that candidate. To his credit, Rush has been aggressive, trying to make the case that Yoho is a liberal. But Rush will need the stars to align over the next two months to make the race competitive.

District 4: Ander Crenshaw is pretty popular in Jacksonville but Republican primary voters have shown a tendency to sour on longtime politicians -- just ask Cantor and Stearns. Ryman Shoaf is a conservative and a former Navy officer, not a bad combination on the First Coast. Crenshaw’s held off challenges from the right before but Shoaf is a more credible threat than the others. Crenshaw is a favorite here but this one could be worth keeping an eye on.

District 7: After beating Sandy Adams in a rare primary matching two congressional incumbents in 2012, John Mica again faces a Republican primary. There are three candidates trying to beat Mica in the primary and former Marines officer David Smith is the most serious contender to do so. Money could be a factor here in the Orlando market as Mica has a healthy war chest while Smith had around $32,750 in the bank at the end of March, spending most of the almost $98,000 he had raised. When the FEC releases the second quarter numbers in the middle of July, it will be interesting to see what Smith has in the bank. For now, though, Mica is a strong favorite.

District 9: Alan Grayson is in no danger of losing to frequent candidate Nick Ruiz in the Democratic primary come August.

District 20: Alcee Hastings has two interesting opponents in the Democratic primary in Jean Enright from the Palm Beach County Port Commission and former heavyweight boxing contender Jameel McCline. Neither appears to be much of a threat as Hastings looks well-poised to extend his time in Congress, though if one of them drops out and the anti-Hastings forces unite this could be worth a look down the road.

District 21: Ted Deutch faces a former Labor Department official in Emmanuel Morel in the Democratic primary in August. Morel is an underdog, to be sure, but he has worked the district hard and certainly is an earnest candidate. But Deutch has been winning elections by large margins for years and is in no danger of losing this contest.

District 24: On paper, Michael Etienne should at least make Frederica Wilson work in the Democratic primary. Looking to woo Haitian American voters, Etienne is an attorney who serves as North Miami’s city clerk. But Etienne has stumbled when he has sought higher office, including a failed bid when Yolly Roberson gave up her House seat in 2010. Wilson has strung together wins for years in the area and is a favorite of the White House. Etienne’s underwhelming fundraising hasn’t helped.

While there are more than two months to go, despite the examples of Stearns and Cantor, it will be tough for any of the challengers to beat any Florida congressmen in the primary.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (6)

John Krause
11:55AM JUN 15TH 2014
Mr. Henderson please spend some time speaking with District One voters before you rush to make predictions about my campaign. This is a small town region with many, many veterans. They have not been fooled by Mr. Miller's sudden interest in their well-being.

Nor have District One voters who are angry about Mr. Miller's YES on NSA spying, YES on illegal immigration amnesty and YES on "free trade" agreements that killed our economy and sold our sovereignty down the river for a handful of magic beans.

Problems at the VA have been going on since the 1980s. Problems existed when Mr. Miller took his seat in the House Veterans Affairs Committee in 2001. Those problems WORSENED through Mr. Miller’s tenure as CHAIR of that Committee since 2011.

They are problems, in other words, of leadership.

Mr. Miller says the VA situation is an employee problem. His solution is to reshuffle Federal workers at the very top of the VA pay scale. He says Federal employees who screwed up should be punished. He says those employees don’t deserve bonuses or promotions. He says employees who fail to perform should be fired.

I agree with Mr. Miller. In fact, let’s apply those standards all the way up the chain. Starting with himself.

Elected officials who fall asleep at the helm for 13 years also deserve to be fired. Sudden “concern” about veterans during an election year does not make up for years of ignoring letters and phone calls from people who are suffering under your oversight.

Like non-performing Veterans Administration employees, it’s time for Mr. Miller to be fired. Don't be so quick to sell District One voters out before the voting's even begun. Mr. Miller has never been challenged in a Primary before. Please let District One make its own choices.

Thank you and God Bless.

John Krause
Barbara Vaughn
11:06PM JUN 12TH 2014
Please God, let us find a good Republican candidate to beat Alan Grayson. I am soooo tired of him embarrassing my state!
11:03AM JUN 12TH 2014
It depends on the Congressman/woman. Crenshaw always votes conservative, so I am sure he will still win. The RPOF will fight it, but if a Tea Party candidate runs against a moderate, they will probably win. I have no use for the RPOF since they drew district lines to force Allen West out . . then when it became apparent that he STILL would have won without voter fraud . . .they would not help him. AFTER over two weeks, . .. after the Dems had plenty of time to hide evidence, . .then the RPOF made a "show" of going down to help . . but ony after it was too late. They threw Allen West under the bus . . and they will never receive another penny from me. I only contribute directly to Rick Scott.
Donna Barrow
1:18PM JUN 12TH 2014
The legislature drew the district lines, not the RPOF.
11:40AM JUN 12TH 2014

Giving your money directly to Rick Scott is like donating to the very vote fixer mob that threw Allen West under the bus.......

Scott was a Bush family lawyer connected directly to Tom Hicks and partnered with GW Bush and Hicks in the Texas Rangers.

When Jeb Bush and his partner's Medicare Fraud scheme was uncovered in 1987 and Recarey fled the country, Jeb Bush brought Rick Scott and Richard Rainwater to Miami to pick up the pieces of their massive fraud scheme financed by Miami mobster Santo Trafficante, Jr.

Rick Scott and Richard Rainwater turned the old International Medical Centers Medicare fraud into just the second largest Medicare Fraud scheme in US history whey Scott and Rainwater with the help of Jeb Bush made Columbia/ HCA the largest Medicare Fraud in US history!

Instead of being a free governor and working for just twelve cents per year; Rick Scott should be on a chain gang making little rocks out of big ones!

Mr. Richard L. 'Rick' Scott
Bar Card Number:17909700
Texas License Date:11/06/1978
Work Address:700 N Adams St
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6131
Work Phone Number:850-488-4661
Primary Practice Location: FORT WORTH , Texas
Current Member Status: Inactive
Firm: Governor Rick Scott
LAW SCHOOL - Southern Methodist University---
Former Law Firm – Johnson & Swanson – Dallas, TX

Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott was a partner with Johnson & Swanson (established in 1970) Rick Scott’s Dallas, Tx clients list included Tom Hicks and Scott became partner’s with Hicks and George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers. Another Scott client was Richard Rainwater who along with Rick Scott and with the help of Jeb Bush was able to pick up the pieces of the South Florida HMO organizations of Miguel Recarey (International Medical Centers) and Recarey’s already organized Medicare Fraud establishment.
they already did
6:33AM JUN 12TH 2014
Is everybody in the Republican party brain dead or just on mind control.

They do not like to mention their casualties for fear the mere facts that their long term princes and princess are vulnerable will cause a voter landslide of house and senate cleansing.

It was just in 2012 that Ted Yoho become our congressman!

Now-U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho of Gainesville eked out a win over Stearns in the August 2012 primary and eventually defeated Democrat J.R. Gaillot to end Stearns' 24-year career in Congress.

Five months before the primary, Jim Jett went public with his accusations, saying the FBI had recorded conversations of the offers from Stearns' supporters, Jim Horne, a former Florida secretary of education, and Jud Sapp, a prominent Clay County businessman.

Stearns and others in the Republican Party denounced Jett and claimed his allegations were untrue.

Recently, however, FBI documents in an FOIA request indicate that Jett's story was valid, as far as could be determined from the non-redacted parts of the records.

The documents indicate a pair of FBI agents did record conversations Horne and Sapp had with Jett on March 1, 2012. Jett filed a FOIA request to get the FBI's files in December 2012. The FBI provided Jett 35 pages in November 2013, but the documents were significantly redacted.

The government claimed the deletions were allowable under FOIA exemptions. Jett appealed that determination in December.

In court records, Jett says he was told the file contained 66 pages.

Moreover, the agents' report suggests they were prepared to pursue the case against them, including launching a sting operation with Jett wearing a wire into a meeting with Horne, Sapp and Stearns — that is, until senior FBI and Justice Department officials in Washington called them off.

Jett has said he believes that was done to shield House Speaker John Boehner, who was in Clay County that day on a fundraising trip.
Jett has also said he wants the FBI to release the files in order to clear his name and restore his reputation in Clay County, where he served 26 years as court clerk and county commissioner.

In the lawsuit, Stotter argues that Jett has been “directly and adversely affected and aggrieved by (the FBI's) failure to provide all responsive records.”

George H. W. Bush quote cited by White House reporter, Sarah McClendon when she asked him about the Iran-Contra - "If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched."

-- George H. W. Bush, cited in the June, 1992 Sarah McClendon Newsletter

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