Late last night, Colonel David Smith formally announced that he will challenge Congressman John Mica for reelection in the Florida’s 7th Congressional District. The Republican will primary the 11 term Congressman in the conservative area, that consists of parts of Orange, Seminole, and Volusia Counties.
The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise. The well decorated, former Marine Corp officer has been busy networking in the Central Florida Political Community for some time. The buzz started generating about 60 days ago that he was considering a run for office, and about a month ago, political operatives started to address it as more of a “When” than an “If”.
The Military Aviator has more awards than you can count, and has poise and likeability on the stump. If he can fund raise, Mica will have to lace up the gloves.
But make no mistake, Col. Smith is still faces a difficult uphill climb that more politically seasoned Conservatives haven’t been able to scale. After redistricting in 2012, Mica faced fellow House Rep Sandy Adams, who despite Washington experience and years in Tallahassee, was still easily defeated by the former Chairman of the Transportation Committee.
Still, Mica does have his share of political critics, to include the majority of Tea Party Conservatives active in the area, that didn’t approve of large spending projects like Sunrail, and rolled their eyes when Mica supported the recent Ryan/Murray Budget deal which busted spending caps.
There are currently two Democrats running a primary as well. Nicholas Ruiz or Wesley Neuman ,would face Mica or Smith in the general election next November