The fight for the 7th has provided high drama early this election year. Redistricting has forced two popular incumbents to run against each other in a primary that has garnered national attention and put Central Florida Republicans in the tough position of having to choose between them.
There is longtime incumbent John Mica who’s chairman of the Transportation committee and Tea Party favorite freshman Sandy Adams who has never missed a vote and sports solid conservative credentials. These two along with Daniel Webster would be an impressive congressional delegation but election year politics has all but splintered that alliance.
Instead, what we have are both House Representatives doing laps at events trying to pull from the same pool of primary voters, getting their “flicks” in front of the camera lens, all while not directly addressing each other.
Attendees at these events are politically savvy, they know what’s going on and they recognize the two elephants in the room (See what I did there?).
There seen at events, seated at opposite sides of whatever the venue might be at that time. Mica flanked by longtime aides or family, Adams with supporters or Tea Party notables and when the ceremony or meeting adjourns the starting whistle is blow and the two lawmakers are off in a race to get the undecideds in the room on their side.
Adams hasn’t been shy about taking the fight to the entrenched Winter Park representative. She enjoys support from local bloggers and regularly pushes out their posts through her social media channels. Mica tailored his message around his accomplishments and prefers to avoid addressing the primary altogether. The only time he’s raised his voice was during a recent “franking” controversy with Adam’s office with taxpayer funded mail.
Mica has the fundraising advantage and top flight consultants but Adams won a competitive primary in 2010 with less than she has now. The primary is approaching and it’s unclear what the turning point in this race will be. Could it be a battle on the ground with volunteers? Through the mail? or some other offensive one of these campaigns will go on before the voters head to the polls?
UPDATE: The Mica Campaign released a poll this morning that has the Transportation Chairman up by %30 and cites the %14 increase from Adams’s poll taken in February to the negative tone of her campaign.