Redistricting Produces Bitter Primary Battle in Florida

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 10:10 AM

By Marti Lotman

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Florida voters go to the polls on Tuesday for its primaries, with veteran Republican John Mica facing his toughest battle to remain in Congress for an 11th term.

Mica, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, is facing tea-party backed Rep. Sandy Adams in a bitter member-vs.-member primary brought on by redistricting.

Other GOP contests in the Sunshine State will decide whether Rep. Allen West can hold on to fight another redrawn district and who will take on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the fall.

But it is the Mica-Adams battle in the center of the state that is the most contentious. Adams says Mica has spent too long in Congress and has even called him a "cheerleader" for President Barack Obama.

Mica hit back, claiming Adams, who is seeking her second term, was a big spender during her time in the Florida state legislature and is a late convert to conservative causes.

In the GOP senate race, the heavy favorite is Rep. Connie Mack IV, whose father held the seat from 1989-2001. Mack is being challenged by former congressman Dave Weldon and tea party-backed Mike McCalister.

West decided against running in his current district in West Palm Beach, which has become more Democratic due to redistricting, and moved north to a safer seat. But he is facing a stiff challenge from Martin County sheriff Robert Crowder in a race seen as between a man who has made himself a national figure for himself against a man with deep local roots.

In West's old district, former Florida House chairman Adam Hasner is unchallenged for the GOP, but a tight Democratic race has developed between former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel and Palm Beach County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

Chauncey Goss, son of former CIA director Porter Goss is one of six Republicans vying for the nomination in Mack's old seat on the Gulf Coast.
Others include state Reps. Gary Aubuchon, and Paige Kreegel, and radio talk show host Trey Radel

In the north of the state, 12-term Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns has three challengers: state Sen. Steve Oelrich, Clay County Clerk of Courts James Jett, and veterinarian Ted Yoho.

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