Sandy Adams


CEOs, Governors Push for Sandy Storm Aid

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Thursday issued a powerful plea to Congress: Don't leave for the holidays until you decide on aid for states battered by Sandy.


Transportation Nation

Florida Congressman Mica Triumphs over Adams in "Most Negative Campaign Ever"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

John Mica on primary night (photo by Matthew Peddie)

Veteran Florida congressman John Mica, the chairman of the House transportation committee, successfully fought off challenger Sandy Adams in Tuesday's Republican primary.

Mica says Adams put him through the most negative campaign ever. Reapportionment left Mica and Adams -- who currently represents Space Coast-based District 24 --  battling for the same seat.

“We tried to stay positive and respond where we could," said Mica, "but it was probably the most negative campaign I’ve ever had to experience and made it very unpleasant for me and my family.”

In the weeks leading to the election, Tea Party favorite Sandy Adams piled on the pressure, labeling Mica a big spending, establishment Republican -- as well as a cheerleader for President Obama.

(photo by Matthew Peddie)

But Mica won by a wide margin in the end, capturing 61% of the vote.

“I don’t think we’ve every mobilized anything like this in our lives," he told supporters at a sports bar just north of Orlando on Tuesday night. "It was a very difficult race. I could tell you that everything but the kitchen sink was thrown at us but I’d have to include the cabinets and all the appliances too.”

He said his victory showed "the heart and soul of the Republican Party is doing fine in Central Florida."

University of Central Florida Political Science Professor Aubrey Jewett said he wasn’t surprised at the vitriol in the race.

“Certainly it’s been negative, certainly it’s been personal, but that often happens in primaries where the candidates are very much alike on policy," said Jewett. "These two people are very conservative Republicans when it comes to policy.”

Jewett said what was unusual about the race was the fact that redistricting put two incumbent Republicans in the same district.

“It’s just virtually unheard of in the country that in a state where you gained two seats -- Florida now has two more congressional seats than it did before -- that you end up with two fairly high profile, popular Republicans in the same district. I mean it just doesn’t happen."

Jewett said the nature of the race forced Mica to downplay his record of helping to bring big projects to the district -- like the SunRail commuter train -- which are usually selling points for an incumbent.

(photo by Matthew Peddie)

Speaking at her campaign headquarters in Maitland, Sandy Adams said she was pleased the race brought the focus back to conservative values. She told Central Florida News 13 she's unsure of her political future.

"I’m a firm believer that when one door closes another one opens and I follow the path I’m led. So we’ll see.”

Mica, who heads the influential House Transportation Committee, says he wants to continue in that role -- but that’s up to House leadership.

He says he also plans to continue with a campaign to cut unnecessary spending in government.

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Transportation Nation

Sandy Adams Takes on "Rock of Gibraltar" Mica in Battle for US House Seat

Friday, August 10, 2012

John Mica and supporters  (photo by Matthew Peddie)

The chair of the House Transportation Committee finds himself in a scrappy fight for re-election, but he's standing his ground and turning to mobility metaphors to express his confidence: "I think I have some life left on the odometer," he said, touting the benefits of his seniority in the house. Meanwhile, his opponent, Sandy Adams, is pointedly using his Washington experience against him.

Mica's U.S. Congressional District 7 used to stretch from his home in Winter Park, metro Orlando to Ponte Vedra, a seaside town 130 miles north, not far from Jacksonville.  Redistricting shifted the boundaries closer to Orlando, and District 7 now centers on Seminole County, just north of Orlando's exurbs.  Neighboring District 24 -- currently represented by Sandy Adams -- moved South, leaving Adams to scrap with Mica in the Republican primary.

As the influential chair of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, Mica has been in Congress nearly 20 years, long enough for people to know who he is. Under siege from his opponent Sandy Adams, he’s flying his conservative colors and highlighting his record as a whistle blower on wasteful spending.

“You get to election year, and people want to know what you’ve done, and what you stand for, and I think I’ve got a very strong record of cutting waste, government bureaucracy and also of providing leadership,” says Mica.

But Adams says he's exactly the kind of insider politician voters don't want.

Her campaign is running an ad that labels Mica "Obama's best cheerleader", citing his support for SunRail, Central Florida's 62 mile long commuter rail line, which the ad brands a "boondoggle".

Adams also criticized Mica over a highway tolling provision in the recently passed highway funding  bill.

"Lexus lanes" are a talking point in the District 7 primary (photo by Matthew Peddie)

"It was his bill, he put the tolls on I-4 after telling people he would not," says Adams. "That’s a career politician.

"That's total political malarkey," says Mica. He says the bill preserves free lanes and stipulates if new toll lanes are built, “then you have to use the money for the construction or to reduce indebtedness, which would reduce or eliminate the tolls."

And Mica says he's no cheerleader for the Obama administration.

"It's totally absurd, taken out of context," says Mica. "I am the best cheerleader in Congress for transportation and getting people working."

"I was able to defeat Harry Reid and get a transportation bill done that the Democrats couldn't do, an FAA bill that cut Harry Reid's $3,720 airline ticket subsidies,  so I'm not the best friend of either Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama."

After nearly a decade in Tallahassee as a Florida state representative, Adams is no political newcomer, but she’s staking her claim as a cost cutting outsider.

“I am not a career politician," says  Adams. " I am, and remain, a citizen legislator.”

She says the choice is clear for voters on August 14th in the Republican primary. "They have a choice between a 20-year career Washington politician, or someone that they sent less than two years ago to fix the mess he helped create."

"I am not a career politician" says Sandy Adams

Adams defeated a Democrat in 2010, but this time she’s up against a formidable Republican. "I'm sort of the rock of Gibraltar," says Mica, who says District 7 needs a representative with his staying power and leadership.

And in the highly competitive 435 member U.S. Congress, Mica says his seniority is a good thing. "It will easily be another decade-and-a-half before another full committee chair comes from Central Florida, just because of seniority."

Mica's clout has allowed him to out-raise his opponent nearly two to one. At the end of July, his campaign had nearly a million dollars cash in hand while Adams had half that.

After a Rotary lunch meeting in Orlando Thursday where both Mica and Adams spoke, Mica was quick to quash any suggestion he'd paid for a high profile endorsement from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. "Oh absolutely not. You don't know what a stingy bastard I am. I wouldn't pay anybody for an endorsement."

Meanwhile Adams' campaign has picked up steam in recent days, with an online fundraising site raking in nearly $30,000 in just over 24 hours.

"We're doing just fine," says Adams.

There's also a Democratic primary in District 7, with new-deal Democrat Nicholas Ruiz up against blue-dog Jason Kendall for a chance to take on the winner of the Mica-Adams contest.

Jason Kendall says if he makes it through his primary, there are enough moderates to give him votes in November.

"Sandy’s something of an extremist," says Kendall. " Getting endorsed by Allan West or Sarah Palin might work in some places but I know a lot of people were really turned off by that endorsement.”

Both Republican candidates have a strong base of supporters, but there are some who still haven't made up their minds, like Steve Grier, who was at a recent Mitt Romney campaign event in Orlando. Grier said he wants to learn more about Adams and Mica.

"I like a lot of things about John Mica," he said. "I know that he was for SunRail, which I’m not real crazy about that aspect. But that remains to be seen. Honestly, I’ve had my eyes more on the presidential aspect of the race.”


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The Takeaway

House Passes GOP's Controversial Domestic Violence Bill

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Amid harsh pushback from Democrats and women’s groups claiming a “war on women,” and in the face of a White House veto threat, the Republican-led House voted yesterday to approve a GOP measure reauthorizing the expired Violence Against Women Act. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent, talks about the latest out of Washington.