John Mica vs. Sandy Adams: A 'Barnburner' in CD 7

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: February 11, 2012 3:55 AM
Sandy Adams and John Mica

Rep. Sandy Adams and U.S. Rep. John Mica | myfloridahouse.gov | U.S. Coast Guard - Flickr

The 7th Congressional District primary battle pitting Republican Reps. Sandy Adams and John Mica is starting out as a contest of fire and ice.

The freshman Adams turned a flamethrower on Mica Thursday, saying, "I don't believe in backing down because someone tries to bully me out of a race."

Mica, a 10-term congressman, coolly deflected the broadside before formally announcing his campaign for CD 7, centered mainly in Seminole, Orange and southern Volusia counties.

"The districts belong to the people of Florida -- not politicians meeting behind closed doors. That's hard for some people to accept," Mica told Sunshine State News.

Mica said he told Adams "in advance" of his plans to run in CD 7. "She had been asking me every day for the last month when I would make my decision."

Some argue that Adams ignited the conflagration when she announced for CD 7 on Jan. 31. The newly drawn Central Florida district contains Winter Park, Mica's longtime residence.

"While nobody wants to see two Republicans battle for the same seat, I don't believe in backing down because someone tries to bully me out of a race when our country needs strong fiscal conservatives to stop business as usual in Washington," Adams said in a statement.

"My track record as a grassroots conservative is one that the people of Central Florida believe in. They know Washington, D.C., is broken, and that sending a career politician back to Congress, so he can start his third decade of service, is not the right answer."

Adams, a former state representative and retired sheriff's deputy, is sure to garner a share of conservative tea party support in what might normally be an uphill fight for a freshman.

"CD 7 is going to be the Barnburner," predicted one longtime Republican strategist speaking on condition of anonymity.

"It'll come down to TP vs. DC. Mica will have the money but Sandy might be able to nationalize it."

Patricia Sullivan, head of the statewide Tea Party Network, praised Adams for "doing more than I thought she could do [in Washington], and following through on campaign promises.

"I'm actually delighted Mica is running against Adams. He needs to go, and she is the woman to get that job done," Sullivan said.

"Pledging to conduct "a positive campaign," Mica said he was "not going to engage" Adams' allegations.

"Things don't always add up to what's being said," he added.

Adams announced her decision to run in CD 7 hours after Republican Craig Miller dropped his U.S. Senate bid to seek the House seat in neighboring CD 6. That district, which runs northeast out of Orlando, encompasses roughly half of Mica's current district.

"Everyone has to make their decision on where to run," Mica said. "I consulted with my wife, friends and supporters." Among those consulted were campaign contributors -- some of whom have donated to both Mica and Adams.

"I like both of them, but that's the breaks when you get into a redistricting fight," said one observer of the upcoming primary race.

Moving forward, Mica said, "People are interested in a positive campaign, and what you can do."

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee touts his voting record, which the American Conservative Union rated at 100 percent.

"You can't find anyone who's more conservative with the money than I am," Mica asserted.

Mica said he was particularly excited about recent passage of a long-term authorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration and highway funding legislation, which, he noted, contains "no deficit spending, no earmarks and no tax increases."

"People talk about fighting in Washington. I'm interested in getting things done for the people. I won't be a part of nasty campaigning," the congressman said.

But Adams' supporters aren't shy about going negative.

"[Mica's] claim to fame, in my opinion, is that he proved Rick Scott could not be held for political blackmail on the high-speed rail issue," said one Adams fan, referring to Mica's maneuvering for the controversial project vetoed by the governor.

Others blasted the congressman for pushing the equally controversial SunRail commuter train, which Scott approved.

Geoff Ross voiced the sentiment of many tea party conservatives in declaring, "Mica needs to retire. He has become a career politician. As a tea party leader, I would support Mrs. Adams as a fresh face and a bold new change of the same old party line."

But Ross added, "I do not think she can beat Mica. My guess is that Mica wins."

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

Comments (13)

2:49AM FEB 16TH 2012
Sandy Adams is correct. Congressman Mica is one of DC's most offensive RINOs. For too long he has been on the receiving end of huge corporate money to pad the FAA's bloated budget, among others. Most recently, he engineered the ridiculous boondogle named, "NEXTGEN", a multi-billion-dollar air traffic control modernization program. What a joke. I refer the reader to the US Dept. of Transportation Office of the Inspector General to read any of numerous audits and investigations of FAA's waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Mica is the feeder of this corrupt trough, and Sandy Adams should fight hard to oust him.
3:57PM FEB 18TH 2012
@cecilio, you are seriously lacking in the information department my friend. NEXTGEN has been widely supported by everyone, in fact you may be the only person on the planet who has spoken against it. As you obviously seem to favor Mrs. Adams, maybe you can retract your statement after realizing she voted for the bill as well.
hal kushner
3:14PM FEB 14TH 2012
both good people...I hate having to choose.
Jason Biggs
12:51PM FEB 13TH 2012
All I can say is I hope both of these people kill each other. Florida is a joke and I do not know what is more fake - Mica's bad hair piece or Adam's bad makeover.
Pat Galbraith
7:27AM FEB 13TH 2012
Odd, people are complaining about what the legislators did in Tallahassee but here we have two Republicans that have to run against each other in the primary. But, why does Corrine Brown's district still snake from Jacksonville to Orlando. It should have been broken up and pieces attached to bordering districts. I haven't looked, but I'll bet there's a bunch.
8:42PM FEB 11TH 2012
Pat Sullivan needs to bring head up for some fresh air saying Mica should go. Perhaps I shouldn't say that since she has Paul Henry involved who opposes e-verify because you have to give the Government information they already have for confirmation....

Mica has an A+ rating on immigration and Sandy Adams has an A-......
1:19PM FEB 11TH 2012
The shame is Sandy could have and still can run in District 6. She runs there, he holds the seat till retirement. Tea partiers may blow up a message board, but that new District 7 is not a tea party district, and she is going to get crushed. She knows it too, that's the puzzling part of all this.
10:39AM FEB 11TH 2012
Mica has proven his worth to Florida time and again. We are so lucky to have someone with his business background and common sense representing us Washington.

Central Florida is behind you Mica!!
Jason Biggs
12:53PM FEB 13TH 2012
Tell me, what has Mica done for Florida? I have been through the state it is full of old people, not much business and a lot of farms. The truth is Florida is running behind most progressive STATES.
Jim B.
10:09AM FEB 11TH 2012
Ross added, "I do not think she can beat Mica. My guess is that Mica wins."

I am so sick of this attitude Mr. Ross. You have admitted defeat before the battle has begun. This is exactly what is happening in our presidential primary where we vote for the candidate who "can win" rather than the individual who should win. FIGHT for Sandy Adams fo God's sake stop being a defeatist.

Mica tried to blackmail our governor to force him to build a boondoggle train. He tried to hold the money to dredge ports up as a "reward" for taking federal money. Yet you say he can win! With attitude like yours it will be difficult but Adams can win if she has hardworking people pound the streets on her behalf. If we beat Grayson we can beat Mica.
5:59PM FEB 11TH 2012

Pretty sure Sandy voted for Sunrail while she was in the Legislature.

Look it up......
Harold H. Heeley
10:00AM FEB 11TH 2012
I know both Adams and Mica, having worked in Tallahassee while Adams was in the legislature. She could not carry John Mica's water, and it would be a travesty to lose Mica's seniority and leadership in DC.
Andrew Nappi
9:38AM FEB 11TH 2012
Both voted YES to NDAA and Patriot Act. Both support the R version of the welfare/warfare state. Either way, liberty loses with either of them.

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