With a week to go until the primary, the fight between congressional colleagues U.S. Rep. John Mica and U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams continues to intensify -- and Florida Republicans are taking sides.
On Tuesday, Adams unveiled the support of two fellow congressional freshmen from the Sunshine State --U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent and U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross. After serving eight years in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee, Adams won a congressional seat in 2010. Mica was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992.
While both Nugent and Ross praised Adams, neither of them took aim at Mica on Tuesday as they rolled out their endorsements.
Sandy and I agree that the American people arent particularly well-served by individuals who stay in Congress for decades on end, Nugent said. Sandy was one of the first people to walk the walk and co-sponsor my bill: the Congress Isnt a Career Act. She sticks by her principles. Shes not going to say one thing and do another. I respect that and I think, at this point, that is exactly the kind of leadership that the country needs.
I've known Sandy Adams for over a decade, Ross said. Personally, professionally and politically, there is no one who will fight harder for what is right than she will. Sandy is a reformer, unafraid to ruffle feathers or take on tough issues. In Congress, Sandy's conservative record speaks for itself. In a time of record deficits and unemployment, Washington needs people who will do what is right, not what is easy. That person is Sandy Adams. I am proud to call her a friend, honored to call her a colleague, and wholeheartedly endorse her in her re-election.
Adams has also been endorsed by fellow freshman U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., and former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
But Mica has garnered his own endorsements from prominent conservatives and he will be showcasing one of them on Wednesday. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, best known for his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, will stump with Mica in Sanford. Huckabees leadership PAC endorsed Mica over Adams at the end of July.
The Mica camp also announced on Tuesday that they had won the support of four local presidents of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies. These GOP leaders praised Mica as the consistent conservative candidate for Congress.
In the meantime, the two camps continue to attack each other. The Adams team released an ad at the end of last week slamming Mica as Obamas best cheerleader.
The Mica camp took aim at the ad, insisting that the Adams team may have violated federal laws by using footage from C-Span in a political ad.
"Throughout this election, the Adams campaign has used distortion and mistruths to attempt to win an election," said John Dowless, an adviser to the Mica campaign. "In this last desperate attack it appears they crossed the ethical line, disregarding a longstanding rule to prevent political use of official C-Span broadcasts."
Mica has far outraised Adams so far in the campaign and, on July 25, had around $970,000 in the bank, while Adams had around $453,000. Adams had lethargic fundraising last month, bringing in around $31,000 as of July 25. Mica raked in $64,000 during that same period and has far more cash on hand than she does.
While Adams continues to try to move to her opponents right, and she won the support of the Tea Party Express group on Monday, Mica launched a new ad this week bashing her.
Whoever emerges with the Republican nomination will be a heavy favorite to head back to Washington. Jason Kendall and Nicholas Ruiz are battling for the Democratic nomination.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.