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October 26, 2014

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August 14, 2012

Florida: John Mica Beats Sandy Adams

Florida: John Mica Beats Sandy Adams

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Mica, chairman of the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, beat tea-party-affiliated freshman Rep. Sandy Adams by a comfortable margin in today’s GOP primary for Florida’s 7th district, situated north of Orlando.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Mica had 61 percent of the vote, to Adams’ 39 percent.

The establishment gets a bum rap these days. Time spent in Washington, D.C., is politically pestilent. Earmarks have given way to an age of austerity. Compromise is out. The approval rating of Congress is at 10 percent.

But in today’s Republican Member-vs.-Member race between the establishment and the grass roots, the establishment won.

Despite being a longtime politician in D.C. — Mica was first elected in 1992 — and having a history of earmarking for his district, Mica’s voting record is hued quite red: He is a real conservative. But it was green, not red that kept this from being much of a race.

Mica had a very considerable money advantage going into the primary fight earlier this year, and Adams was never able to close the gap with her own fundraising. Outside groups didn’t come to her rescue in a substantial way either, despite endorsements from tea party heavyweights such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

“You can have all the grass roots you want, but at some point there is just a money factor that just crushes,” explained one top Florida GOP strategist unaligned in the race. “We reached that point a few weeks ago.”

Mica also started out with a significant advantage in the number of voters in the district who knew who he was. First elected to an Orlando-area seat the same year Bill Clinton was first elected president, Mica is a familiar figure.

“The guy’s been advertising in the Orlando media market for like 20 years,” the strategist said.

Other Republicans watching the race were struck by the disparity in advertising between the two candidates.

“He’s been really strong down the stretch with a lot of TV,” said unaffiliated GOP consultant Tre’ Evers, who is based in central Florida. And Mica had “lined up almost all of the local mayors,” he said.

Adams ran a feisty campaign, but the money gap hampered her ability to paint a full contrast with Mica. She was also impeded by the fact that both are similarly conservative when their voting records are taken in total, Florida GOP insiders said.

The race grew particularly nasty at times, but that didn’t change the underlying fundamentals.

“All she had on him was that he’s served for a long time,” Evers said.

The district is comfortably Republican so Mica is almost certain to be joining the 113th Congress for his 11th term.

August 3, 2012

Florida: John Mica Maintains Big Cash Advantage Over Sandy Adams

Florida: John Mica Maintains Big Cash Advantage Over Sandy Adams

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the nasty Member-vs.-Member GOP primary north of Orlando, 10-term Rep. John Mica maintained a sizable cash-on-hand lead over freshman Rep. Sandy Adams.

According to Federal Election Commission reports filed on Thursday, Mica ended July 25 with $960,000 to Adams’ $453,000. In the pre-primary filing period from July 1-25, Mica raised more than twice as much as Adams, but spent $431,000. Adams spent only $78,000 during that period. The majority of Mica’s expenditures were for media advertising.

Adams received July donations from the campaign accounts of GOP Reps. Austin Scott (Ga.) and Geoff Davis (Ky.), who has since resigned his seat, along with $2,000 from the political action committee affiliated with Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman (Ind.).

Adams also received $5,000 from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s PAC.

During the pre-primary period, Mica received $1,000 from the PAC affiliated with GOP Rep. Tim Murphy (Pa.).

Mica has an edge in the Aug. 14 primary, but GOP insiders are not counting Adams out.

July 26, 2012

Florida: Allen West Backs Sandy Adams

Florida: Allen West Backs Sandy Adams

Rep. Allen West backed a fellow freshman lawmaker in a GOP primary against another Member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Firebrand Rep. Allen West today endorsed fellow GOP Rep. Sandy Adams in her Member-vs.-Member primary race against Rep. John Mica in Florida’s newly configured 7th district.

It’s an important endorsement for Adams from a fellow freshman Member. West, a fundraising juggernaut popular in conservative circles, might give Adams a boost in her race.

The winner of the Aug. 14 primary in the GOP-leaning district is almost certain to be coming back to Congress in January. Full story

July 25, 2012

Florida: Mike Huckabee Endorses John Mica

Florida: Mike Huckabee Endorses John Mica

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) today endorsed Rep. John Mica (R) in his race against Rep. Sandy Adams (R) in Florida’s newly configured 7th district.

“John Mica is a proven leader who doesn’t just talk; he achieves sound conservative results,” Huckabee said in a statement. “If conservatives want a man of action and a man we can count on, I urge my fellow Floridians in Central Florida to join me in supporting John Mica.”

The endorsement comes after former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) backed Adams.

Mica and Adams are locked in a nasty contest for the district north of Orlando. The winner of the Aug. 14 contest is likely to be coming back to Congress next January, given the GOP lean of the seat.

July 12, 2012

Florida: Sandy Adams Gets Sarah Palin Nod

Florida: Sandy Adams Gets Sarah Palin Nod

Sarah Palin made her first House endorsement of 2012 today in a Member versus Member race. (Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Sarah Palin today endorsed Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams in her Member-vs.-Member GOP primary brawl with 10-term Rep. John Mica. It is the former vice presidential candidate’s first House endorsement this cycle.

Adams, a freshman, has strong tea party support in the Sunshine State’s 7th district, a seat north of Orlando where both Members are running as a result of redistricting. Mica, the chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has locked up a solid chunk of establishment backing.

The former Alaska governor’s endorsement goes a few steps beyond a boilerplate statement and knocks Mica. Full story

May 30, 2012

Florida: John Mica Poll Shows Him Up Big Against Sandy Adams

Florida: John Mica Poll Shows Him Up Big Against Sandy Adams

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll of likely GOP primary voters commissioned by Rep. John Mica showed him leading fellow Republican Rep. Sandy Adams by more than 30 points in Florida’s newly configured 7th district.

In a horserace matchup between the two Members, Mica led 55 percent to 25 percent for Adams.

In a poll commissioned by Adams earlier this year, Mica led by 16 points. Full story

March 6, 2012

Florida: Poll Shows Mica With Surmountable Lead vs. Adams

Florida: Poll Shows Mica With Surmountable Lead vs. Adams

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ten-term Rep. John Mica (R) led freshman Rep. Sandy Adams (R) in a new poll of Republican primary voters in Florida’s reconfigured 7th district in which both Members are running for re-election.

Mica led Adams 46 percent to 30 percent in a horse-race matchup , but Mica’s lead appears surmountable with the proper messaging, according to a polling memo obtained by Roll Call.

In the two-page memo, dated Monday to the Adams campaign team, respected pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies wrote: “Adams has a terrific shot to defeat John Mica in a Republican primary if she has the necessary financial resources to compete. As Republican primary voters learn more information about the two candidates in the months leading up to the August primary, Sandy will close this ballot gap significantly.”

When interviewers added neutral biographical information about both candidates, Adams took a lead in a head-to-head matchup, 42 percent to 39 percent.

Full story

February 16, 2012

Morning Roundup: Member-Vs.-Member Races

Morning Roundup: Member Vs. Member Races

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The front page of today’s Roll Call features Shira Toeplitz’s report from the ground in Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, on the Democratic primary between Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich. Their March 6 contest will be the first of 12 Member-vs.-Member races decided this redistricting cycle.

The numbers in the redrawn 9th district, which stretches 120 miles along Lake Erie’s shoreline, favor Kaptur over Kucinich because it takes in more of her current territory. But, as Toeplitz points out, long odds have never stopped the two-time failed presidential candidate and one-time “boy mayor” of Cleveland from running before. Full story

February 10, 2012

Florida: Mica Takes On Adams in Member-Vs.-Member Race

Florida: Mica Takes On Adams in Member Vs. Member Race

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. John Mica officially announced his bid for re-election in Florida’s proposed 7th district today, confirming a race versus fellow Republican Rep. Sandy Adams.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman’s likely move was reported earlier this week. Adams, a freshman, announced Jan. 30 that she would run in the 7th.

Full story

February 8, 2012

Florida: Mica and Adams May Face Off in GOP Primary

Florida’s likely new Congressional map started a game of musical chairs last week.

But now, in northeastern Florida, there are two players looking to take one seat. Republican Reps. John Mica and Sandy Adams appear poised to run against each other in the proposed 7th district, setting up a Member-vs.-Member primary between a 10-term Congressman and a freshman.

Full story

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