By BRENDAN FARRINGTONÂ â€” AP Political Writer
TALLAHASSEE, FLA.Â â€” One thing is guaranteed after Tuesday’s primary: At least one of Florida’s U.S. representatives won’t be working in Washington after January.
In a rare battle of incumbents, 10-term Congressman John Mica is facing freshman Rep. Sandy Adams in a Republican primary that has become increasingly nasty. They are facing each other after once-a-decade redistricting put both of their homes in District 7, a compact area that includes a small part of Orlando and the area northeast of the city. Either could have run in another district, but neither did.
It’s become brutal. Adams calls
Mica a big-spending politician who is cozy with President Barack Obama. Mica says Adams has used dirty campaign tactics and her record in the state House doesn’t match her conservative rhetoric.
“My current opponent is a 20-year career politician who has become part of Washington. He may have went there 20 years ago with the right intentions, but he is part of the mess that’s been created,” Adams said. “He has voted to raise the debt ceiling like six times. He’s part of that Washington problem that so many of us recognize is a problem.”
She is drawing support from three other Republican House freshmen from Florida: Allen West, Dennis Ross and Rich Nugent. That goes along with endorsements from 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Erick Erickson, who runs the conservative RedState blog.
In a recent Adams ad, President Barack Obama is repeatedly shown saying, “Congressman Mica, whose leadership made this bill a reality.” Mica is the House Transportation Committee chairman and the clip is from the recent transportation bill signing. Another clip appears to show Mica telling Obama “I’m your biggest cheerleader” after the 2011 State of the Union address.
“She’s run one of the nastiest and most negative campaigns in the history of central Florida and I think she’s going to pay dearly for that at the polls,” said Mica, who has touted the support of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and several mayors in the district. “It’s one of the most divisive and just mean campaigns of anyone I’ve ever seen.”
While Mica’s and Adams’ homes are both in District 7, it’s not unusual for members of Congress to run in a new district based on how the maps are drawn.
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