These are my professional notes on the race for Florida’s 7th Congressional District, ordered from most recent and working backwards.
3-6-14: NOTE OPENED
The race for Florida’s 7th Congressional District features an 11 term incumbent and former Chairman of the House Transportation Committee against a trio of Republican primary challengers and one Democrat in the district which consists of areas in Volusia, Seminole, and Orange Counties.
John Mica has been in Congress a long time and has no plans of stepping down anytime soon. He’s got a long list of legislative achievements and a loyal following in the 7th. In 2012, he had to defeat a fellow sitting Republican in a regrettable political fight that had to take place after redistricting. He triumphed and has continued staying outfront of moving transportation here in Central Florida. He continues to push for rail projects like Sunrail and development of motor travel in the area.
These projects cost money and the debate over whether certain projects are needed and how much spending will be needed usually draws Mica some primary opponents. This time is no different.
Former Marine Pilot David Smith has been adamant. He is not running against John Mica or anybody else, but for the people of the 7th district. He says that he was approached about running a couple of years back when there was buzz that Mica could retire. He was against the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray Budget deal that lifted spending limits while restoring allocated funds to certain areas of defense and believes no one will ride Sunrail. He also wants more programs for Veterans improved and is for reeling in Government spending and waste. He’s been campaigning aggressively but has been keeping a positive tone to his message. He understands that he’s fishing out of a pool of voters that have been local to Mica for sometime.
There are two other Republicans that have filed. Alan Azcona and Zechariah Blanchard. Neither have made any noise up to this point and have no online campaign identity yet. I’ll keep an eye on them for you.
Democrat Wesley Neuman has the tough task of being the Democrat running in an area where one hasn’t been competitive for years. He’ll need a major political event to shift the public opinion of voters in the district to turn D7 blue.