Redistricting turns Friends into Foes in Central Florida

Who’s side are you on?

It’s a question that’s getting asked at least a dozen times at every political mixer, executive committee meeting, or after hour business get-together. Local politicos having to choose sides between sitting lawmakers or community favorites pushed into running against each other because of redistricting.

Maps are being slung all over the country, including our own state capital and when lines are shifted and pushed every which way you’re going to have some tough match ups and let’s face it..

You can’t please everybody.

Here are some potential races that could turn into some divisive family fights.

John Mica vs. Sandy Adams- CD 7:

This one didn’t take long to turn negative. Adams has had supporters aggressively attacking Mica through both traditional and social media. Mica has mostly stayed the course and has been using connections from his long tenure in Washington to aggressively fundraise.

The two have been shadowing each other at events and making the rounds to the party faithful touting their victories in the House of Representatives. Both lawmakers will be pulling from the same pool of grassroots operatives and local doners.

You’ve either got a longtime, representative that chairs the powerful House Transportation Committee or a Congresswoman that has never missed a conservative vote and has been the most accessible House Rep in Central Florida.

Both have been out front looking for answers on the delays of the local VA Hospital.

There is some hope that one could shift to District 6 to take on Craig Miller, Ron Desantis and Fred Costello. This could spare Republicans from a painful loss in the House.

The CD 27 Primary aka the Race to take on Alan Grayson:

When District 27 started to take shape there was little doubt it would be a heavily Hispanic and potentially lean left.

This provided former Democratic Congressman and celebrated bomb thrower Alan Grayson his opening.

Wherever there is Alan Grayson there is drama, and a platoon of Conservatives waiting to take him on.

There is Osceola School Board Member and Iraqi War Vet Julius Melendez, former State Rep and Osceola County Commissoner Chairman John “Q” Quiones, Businessman Mark Oxner, and former Grayson Foe, Author and Attorney Todd Long.

The 2010 CD 8 Primary affair was a seven person affair and it was late entry Dan Webster who crashed the race, withstood the hurricane of negative campaigning from Grayson and cruised to victory. It was a terrific primary and the different styles involved made for some terrific political theater.

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter who wins. Republicans will unite behind the nominee to take on Alan Grayson just like they did in 2010, and if he’s sharing a ballot with the President it will take everything and more to beat him.

Wherever Grayson runs there will sure to be plenty of opposition

State Representative Stephen Precourt vs. Matt Falconer FL House D44:

What you might have noticed in the first two races is the strong Establishment vs. Tea Party vibe, and while no one in any of those campaigns will admit it. Businessman Matt Falconer has made no secret about it.

He’s running against the establishment and more specifically Stephen Precourt.

Falconer’s reception to the race was a chilly one, filled with negative correspondence from Precourt’s colleagues in Tallahassee. And being excused from a board appointment by Speaker of the House Dean Cannon shortly after he announced his candidacy.

He hasn’t shown know signs of backing down. He’s been calling for small donations and support from local Tea Party leaders. He ran an aggressive ground campaign in his Orange County Mayor bid and might have a slight advantage there. But he’s almost certainly going be outspent and will have to deal with challenges from within local party ranks loyal to Precourt.

Are there any conflicts among local Democrats? Not really. Conservatives dominated the 2010 races and while there could be some competitive Democratic primaries in Central Florida, it won’t be because of redistricting.

So, there you have it. A lot of popular names here and at the end of the day we’ve all got to fill in a circle on that ballot. Let’s finish this post the same way we started it.

Who’s side are you on?