Primaries will all-but decide some congressional races
By Michael Peltier The News Service Of Florida
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, FL — While most candidates have the luxury of time, a handful of candidates in key congressional races will face their toughest challenge in two weeks in the primary.
Primary races in a few congressional contests will either determine the winner, or will clear the way for a heavy favorite.
National attention has been focused on the race between Republican incumbents Sandy Adams and John Mica to see who will represent U.S. Congressional District 7.
The race is being touted as a bellwether contest to determine whether the Tea Party has the political staying power to influence the course of the Republican Party.
Adams, a former state House member, was elected to Congress in 2010 amid a flurry of Tea Party backed candidates. She has raised nearly $850,000 so far in the campaign and counts among her supporters former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and U.S. Rep. Allen West.
Mica, a 10-term incumbent, is sitting on more than $1.3 million in cash after out-raising Adams in the second quarter by a more than 3-1 margin. This week, former U.S. presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee added his name to Mica’s list of supporters.
Democrat Jason Kendall awaits the winner, but whoever wins the GOP primary will be the heavy favorite as an incumbent. Kendall is far less well known than either Adams or Mica.
The turf is the I-4 corridor, north of Orlando and including the cities of Altamonte Springs and Deltona.
Republican candidates aren’t the only ones who will lock up a seat in August. This Democratic stronghold pits one-term U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson against a well-financed challenger. Rudy Moise. He is a Haitian-born osteopathic physician who also has an MBA and a law degree, was an Air Force flight surgeon and currently is a colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Wilson has raised $409,526 for the cycle and has $156,123 on hand as of June 30. Moise has raised $289,187 and had $161,950 on hand at the end of the quarter, but also in the past has shown the ability to put his own money into a race. Moise was one of several candidates who sought the seat in 2010 when Wilson won it. There are no Republicans running for the now redrawn seat in the still heavily Democratic district, so the primary will determine the winner.