Veteran Republican Congressman John Mica faces a strong challenge from a Tea Party freshman congressman, a battle that reflects the rift in the GOP between grass-roots conservatives and the party's establishment candidates
Mica, a 20-year representative and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will square off against freshmAccorindan Congresswoman Sandy Adams. The Republican member-versus-member infighting is taking place thanks to redistricting in the state. Mica and Adams are battling for the newly-created 7th district.
Mica has countered by painting the freshman Adams, who has won the backing of the Tea Party Express, as a conservative charlatan, arguing she supported spending measures herself in the Florida State Legislature.
Polls close at 8 p.m. EDT.
PolicyMic will be covering the Florida GOP primaries LIVE. Bookmark and refresh this page for updated analysis and real-time news on the election.
10:35: Live blog, out.
10:30: Politico get specific:
"POLITICO Breaking News-------------------------------------------------Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight and investigations panel chairman who made headlines investigating Solyndra and Planned Parenthood, has unexpectedly lost his primary to large animal veterinarian Ted Yoho, according to the AP"
Not just any veterinarian, but a large animal veterinarian!
10:26: According to a PPP poll on the upcoming November senate election, incumbent Bill Nelson leads Connie Mack IV 45% to 43%, a toss-up.
10:20: Democrat Joe Garcia's victory in the new 26th district means he'll face David Rivera again in a rematch of the 2010 midterm elections. That election was in the 25th district at the time.
10:14: Allen West won handily tonight in the 18th GOP. The Tea Party favorite defeated Bob Crowder, and will face the Democratic winner from tonight, Patrick Murphy in November.
10:09: Although the Tea Party candidate was rejected in Florida's GOP primary in the 7th, that hardly means the district is remotely in play for Barack Obama in November, as the district went for McCain in 2008, and George W. Bush twice.
9:53: More Mica-Adams Post Analysis: From NPR:
The Florida contest was a prime example of the sharp split in the Republican party this election season between grass-roots conservatives and the GOP's establishment candidates.
Mica overcame criticism by Adams that the big-spending ways of longtime lawmakers and Washington insiders like him have fueled the nation's soaring debt, a charge that echoes the deep divisions in the GOP. The two tangled over spending for pet projects and who's more conservative.
For decades, some of the most conservative Republicans steered federal dollars to their home districts to boost local economies as well as their own political stock. More recently, anti-establishment conservatives, including Tea Partyers, have scored election wins by criticizing excessive spending by Washington's establishment players.
Also in Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson will face Republican Connie Mack IV in November after winning handily in their respective party primaries.
9:49: A quick look at District 6:
9:42: Yoho's victory over incumbent Cliff Stearns likely means the Tea Party will gain a seat in Congress in November. Stearns has served in Congress since 1989.
9:39: PolicyMic is calling the Democratic 24th for Wilson.
9:36: PolicyMic is calling the Democratic 26th for Garcia.
9:34: Radel has won the GOP 19th.
9:31: District 24 update: Wilson cruising to victory.
9:13: PolicyMic is calling the GOP 3rd for Yoho.
9:10: District 24 update:
From PolicyMic Pundit Lee Molloy: District 24: Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson faces minor opposition from Rudy Moise in the Miami area district. There are no Republican challengers.
This may be true, but this race features more vanity than is usual among the already image-obsessed publicity hounds running for public office.
Everyone in Miami knows Wilson due to her incredible collection of tacky cowboy hats – she is a ridiculous figure, but at least she has a real platform to stand on and has been vocal and steadfast in her support of Trayvon Martin.
Moise, on the other hand, has a resume desperate for direction. He’s a millionaire MD with a law degree who happens to be a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.
But vanity, all is vanity — Moise has also become known among the community of Little Haiti for producing low-budget movies with himself in starring roles. Rumors that by night he dons a cape and cowl to fight against injustice have not been confirmed, but do we really have to give this dude, who has never met a camera he doesn’t like, a seat in the Congress to fuel his ever inflating ego? Let’s just re-elect the hat to District 24, its way less embarrassing.
9:08: Yoho leads Stearns by 1.2% with over 95% reporting.
9:03: PolicyMic is calling the GOP 6th for Desantis.
8:55: PolicyMic is calling the GOP 13th for Young.
8:52: Yoho and Stearns are locked in a death struggle in the GOP 3rd.
8:49: Herman Cain-endorsed Todd Long has won the GOP 9th.
8:45: Mica-Adams Recap: Fending off the toughest challenge of his 20-year congressional career, U.S. Rep. John Mica easily defeated fellow U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams on Tuesday in a rare primary election pitting two sitting members of Congress against each other.
Mica, R-Winter Park, jumped out to a 60-to-40 percent lead over Adams, R-Orlando, almost from the moment the polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday. He was never challenged as he won the Republican nomination in Florida's Seventh Congressional District, which encompasses most of Seminole County and parts of Orange and Volusia counties.
8:38: Jason Kendall, not to be confused with the former Pirates catcher, has won the Democratic 7th.
8:32: Tea Party incumbent Allen West has handily won the GOP 18th.
8:31: Patrick Murphy has won the 18th district Democratic primary handily.
8:23: Tom Rooney has defeated Joe Arnold in the 17th district GOP primary.
8:22: John Mica has handily defeated Tea Party challenger Sandy Adams.
8:15: Heather Beaven has won the 6th Democratic primary.
8:12: Ander Chrenshaw is going to win in a walk, as expected in the 4th district GOP primary.
8:08: Republican senate primary has been called for Connie Mack.
8:07: With a third of precincts reporting, incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is up 60 points on challenger Glenn Burkett. Race has been called for Nelson.
8:03: Polls have been closed for three minutes. Weirdly, no results yet.
On Election Day 2009, Adams took 60% of the vote.
After redistricting, Adams decided to run in the newly redrawn Florida's 7th congressional district. Adams currently represents 51% of the district, while Mica represents 42% of the district.
Who is John Mica? The veteran GOP politician is a 10-term congressman. Mica has gained a reputation for being a strong supporter of Amtrak reform. In 2009, Mica earmarked $13 million for the Central Commuter Rail, a major initiative supported by one of Mica's daughter's clients. He also lists himself as a strong supporter of the military. The Orlando Sentinel named Mica the fourth most powerful person in central Florida
A recap of Florida’s other primaries, from the Associated Press:
- District 6: Seven Republicans are seeking the nomination in the conservative district that runs along the Atlantic Coast from Jacksonville to New Smyrna Beach. Among them are Jacksonville city Councilman Richard Clark, state Rep. Fred Costello, lawyer Ron DeSantis and former Ruth's Chris Steak House CEO Craig Miller. Heather Beaven, the CEO of a nonprofit group that helps students finish school and learn job skills, faces lawyer Vipin Verma in the Democratic primary.
- District 9: Four central Florida Republicans are competing to see who will face former Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, who became known nationally after saying the GOP health care plan was to hope people die. They are lawyer Todd Long, businessman Julius Melendez, businessman Mark Oxner and John Quinones, a former state representative who now chairs the Osceola County Commission.
- District 19: Six Republicans are on the ballot seeking an open southwest Florida seat. Among them are state Rep. Gary Aubuchon, state Rep. Paige Kreegel, former radio talk show host Trey Radel and Chauncey Goss, son of former congressman and CIA director Porter Goss. The winner will be the heavy favorite to win the conservative district in November.
- District 2: State Rep. Leonard Bembry, lawyer Alvin Peters and former state Sen. Al Lawson are seeking the Democratic nomination to face Republican Rep. Steve Southerland in a district that spreads from Panama City to Tallahassee.
- District 3: Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns is being challenged by former Alachua County sheriff and current state Sen. Steve Oelrich, Clay County Clerk of Courts James Jett and Ted Yoho, a veterinarian who has gained Tea Party support. The winner will be a strong favorite to win in November in the conservative district that ranges from the Georgia border to Ocala and from Jacksonville's outskirts to the Gulf Coast.
- District 25: Businesswoman Gloria Romero Roses faces Joe Garcia for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Rep. David Rivera in this South Florida district. Garcia lost to Rivera in 2010.
- District 22: Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel faces Palm Beach County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs in the Democratic primary. The winner will face former state Rep. Adam Hasner, who dropped out of the U.S. Senate race to seek the seat.
- District 23: Five Republicans are on the ballot to see who'll face Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also chairs the Democratic National Committee. Among them are restaurant owner Karen Harrington, businessman Ozzie deFaria and Joe Kaufman.
- District 18: West faces minor opposition from Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder while businessman Patrick Murphy is the heavy favorite in the Democratic primary against Jim Horn and Jerry Lee Buechler.
- District 24: Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson faces minor opposition from Rudy Moise in the Miami area district. There are no Republican challengers.
- District 4: Republican Rep. Ander Crenshaw faces two minor challengers, Bob Black and Deborah Katz Pueschel. The winner won't have a Democratic challenger for the seat the represents a large portion of Jacksonville and the surrounding area.
- District 13: Republican Rep. Bill Young faces minor opposition from Madeline Vance and Darren Ayres. The winner will face Democrat Jessica Ehrlich for the seat that represents the St. Petersburg area.
- District 17: Republican Rep. Tom Rooney faces minor opposition from Joe Arnold in a district that stretches across south central Florida.