Eyes are focused on the GOP primary to oppose Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, but there are titanic bouts between two Republican House members vying for the same district and a succession battle in another district with hints of a feud along the lines of the Hatfields and McCoys.
Most believe that Rep. Connie Mack will emerge as the nominee against two-termer Nelson. Former Sen. George LeMieux abandoned the race and others decided not to run. As the namesake-son of the beloved former senator (1988-2000), young Mack packs a political wallop by just being himself. Some in the party have had questions about his criticism of Arizona‚??s illegal immigration law and others bring up Mack‚??s stormy divorce a few years later (he is now married to fellow Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack of California) and supported the late-starting campaign of conservative former Rep. (1994-2008) Dave Weldon. But, as the latest polls out of the Sunshine State report, Mack should cruise to victory on Tuesday, but the general election is a different story. The latest statewide Quinnipiac poll has Mack trailing Nelson by several points.
In the new 7th District, 20-year Rep. and outgoing House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica is squaring off against freshman Rep. Sandy Adams. Mica (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 94.07 percent) and Adams (lifetime ACU rating: 88 percent) disagree on relatively little, but they are stylistically worlds apart.
Mica has a long record of bring federally-funded projects in the district and was a major player in passage of the recent transportation bill‚??which, he insists has ‚??$16.3 billion in savings over ten years scored, the first time we are doing a transportation bill without deficit spending.‚?Ě Adams is a heroine of the tea party who was willing to oppose lifting the debt ceiling. Most of the district is her former turf, but Mica has widely outdone her in fundraising and has the endorsement of such conservatives as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. However, in Adams’ corner, is former Alaskan Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin who endorsed the freshman Republican last month.
In the 19th District (Lee County) that Mack is leaving, the early GOP favorite was the son of his predecessor: Chauncey Goss, son of former Rep. (1988-2006) Porter Goss, and himself a former staffer on the House Budget Committee under Chairman Paul Ryan. The younger Goss had the blessings of his father and of old boss Ryan, but the Mack family was bound and determine to defeat him.
‚??Porter and his family opposed Connie when he first ran for the seat,‚?Ě one local GOP activist told Human Events, ‚??The Macks and the Gosses are like the Hatfields and McCoys.‚?Ě
In recent weeks, there has been considerable momentum for Trey Radel, popular radio talk show host and former television newscaster, and state legislator and physician Paige Kreegel, both considered conservative. Another state legislator, Gary Aubuchon, has drawn the ire of Americans for Tax Reform because Aubuchon is the only candidate in the race who hasn’t signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.