Rep. Sandy Adams (Fla.-24) took on her first national fight in 2010 when she ran against Democrat incumbent Suzanne Kosmas. Adams won the U.S. House seat with a whopping margin of 60-42 percent. Now Adams is locked in another battle, one she may not have anticipated.
Adams is running against another incumbent, Rep. John Mica (R-7) who has served in Congress since 1993, the same year the film Jurassic Park was released.
How did two successful Republicans from two different districts end up challenging each other in a primary?
Redistricting caused a split in the district where numbers broke down to Adams representing 51 percent of the constituents and Mica representing 42 percent. I’m sourcing that from a leading Democrat blog and I could not cross-check the data.
However, an individual who has volunteered for Adams’ campaign said a very small area, geographically speaking, was absorbed into Adams’ district and Mica’s district as redrawn would have still contained 72 percent of the area he has represented.
Neither Adams nor Mica has held anything back. For Main Street Republicans, it’s difficult to understand why this primary was even necessary. There’s an adjacent district with no incumbent. Politico talked to Adams about the issue:
After the final map came down on a Friday in late January, Adams said she tried to call Mica for days.
“We waited, we waited, we never heard from him. So I went ahead and announced,” Adams said, adding that Mica had told her they would work something out.
A recent online news poll at TV News 13 (Central Florida) showed Adams leading with 76 percent and Mica at 24 percent.
Mica recently accused Adams of playing politics with the transportation bill some Republicans praised him for working on with Democrats. Adams voted against the bill.
Popular senator Marco Rubio also voted against the transportation bill. Rubio rightly said the bill spent too much and relied on “gimmicks” that would eventually necessitate a federal bailout.
Many fiscal conservatives—I am among them—criticized the transportation bill for a tax on “roll your own” cigarette outlets. As long as Republicans hand over new revenue, no cuts to spending will be made. Those outlets are all small businesses who are already slammed by federal regulations. Sidenote to Republicans and Democrats: Small businesses are people.
The Heritage Foundation, an icon among conservatives, had this to say about the transportation bill:
“The bill spends too much, and to pay for this overspending, it contains transfers from the general fund, which are themselves paid for through new revenue streams. Some of the policy changes that yield new revenues are unacceptable, but beyond that, new revenue should not be used for new spending.”
Adding insult to political injury, Red State’s Erick Erickson, highly influential among grassroots conservatives, slammed Mica’s support for the bill and openly encouraged support for Adams.
For many of us interested in real government reform and reducing spending as well as restoring personal liberty, an unnecessary duel between a Washington powerhouse and a popular freshman congresswoman is troubling. Are Old Guard Republicans intent on pushing reformers out of Congress? That is a necessary question.
The Republican Party is at a crossroads requiring us to choose a direction that contrasts to the big government, tax hiking and spending Democrats bent on reshaping the United States into a mirror image of Europe. We should welcome reformers and we should do everything possible to avoid the sort of conflict underway between Mica and Adams.
Personally speaking, I am very disappointed in any Republican who reached across the aisle to satisfy Democrats on the transportation bill. We lose every time we do that.
Adams has garnered support from high profile organizations led by fiscal conservatives and military veterans. Adams served in the U.S. Air Force and as a sheriff’s deputy before entering politics.
Adams was instrumental in sponsoring and passing legislation to make sure military votes are counted in elections.
This primary shouldn’t have even been necessary. We should be asking ourselves why things worked out as they did.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 12, 2012)
Setting the Record Straight in the Adams/Mica Primary Battle (Florida Political Press)