|Rep. Sandy Adams|
(FL-24...soon to be FL-7?)
The race is drawing comparisons to 2010's race between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio, with Mica viewed as more of a big government moderate and Adams attracting support from staunch fiscal conservatives and tea partiers.
Personally, I don't have a problem with Mica. He's a very pleasant guy with a wonkish love of history and old books, and he has done a lot to support other Florida Republicans. But challenging Adams is just silly - not to mention flat-out arrogant. Adams has told me that she talked to Mica before she declared she was running for District 7, and he left her with the impression that he would run in the new District 6. This arrangement makes the most sense, as District 7 encompasses a large part of Adams' former Florida House district and her current congressional district (FL-24), and District 6 contains a lot of Mica's current district.
Moreover, when you compare their records side-by-side, Adams shines as the clear conservative choice. There are too many times when Mica has expressed support for earmarks and boondoggle projects, too many votes for bills I consider to be irresponsible spending, for him to legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative.
So far, Adams is showing no sign of backing down, and scoffs at the suggestion that Mica is unbeatable because he is a long-time incumbent, chair of a powerful committee, etc. She may be right: I dare you to read this profile about Adams' life history and tell me she's not tough enough to take on Mica. For that matter, check out this post where I linked to the video of Adams shredding Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal and then talk to me about whether she's got the backbone to pull this off.
The contrast between the two candidates is even more obvious when you examine their fundraising. As of the last quarter, Mica had raised only $6,550 from a mere seven residents of his congressional district, less than 1% of the $700,149 he had collected. POLITICO noted these figures and then gleefully compared them to Mica's charges of over $9,000 at the posh Capitol Hill restaurant Acqua Al 2. Mica will almost certainly raise more money from all the lobbyists seeking to curry favor with the transportation committee chair, but if he continues to draw so little of it from Florida, voters may harshly judge him for it.
Additionally, Adams has been building good will with Central Florida voters for a long time. She's well-regarded as a no-nonsense straight talker, and her constituents trust her. Significant sections of the newly drawn District 7 include areas that have been represented by Adams during the past decade, and even a war chest the size of Mica's will be hard-pressed to shake that loyalty.
Here's a short interview I did with Adams at CPAC this year, in which we discuss her race and a bill she was sponsoring:
YouTube | CPAC Interview with Rep. Sandy Adams (R, FL-24)
More information about the legislation mentioned in the interview, H.R. 3991, the Keeping Employees' Emails and Phones (KEEP) Secure Act, can be found here.
You can help support Sandy Adams by donating online or signing up to volunteer. For more information, go to her website at SandyAdams.com or join her on Facebook or Twitter at @RepSandyAdams.
Breitbart | Big Government | Establishment Rep. Mica Seeks Out Primary Challenge With 'Tea Party' Freshman Rep. Adams
RedState | RS at CPAC: Rep. Sandy Adams (R, FL-24)