Updated 9:05 p.m.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., defeated fellow Republican Rep. Sandy Adams in a member-versus-member primary in Florida's 7th Congressional District Tuesday night, beating back a tea party-style attack with the classic advantages of money, incumbency, and deep connections in the district.
With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Mica had 61 percent of the vote to Adams's 39 percent. The Associated Press called the race for Mica.
"This race has been called the fight for the soul of the Republican party. I'm happy to report the heart and soul of the party endures," Mica said in a statement. "This race demonstrated that the voters appreciate effective, experienced and proven conservative leadership. In this election we brought together every dedicated Republican across Central Florida. This victory is the result of hard work, dedicated grassroots support and incredible support shown at the polls today."
Though Florida gained two seats via reapportionment, the new 7th District took in a large number of both Mica's and Adams's current constituents, and they decided to run against each other. Adams, a freshman, started the primary at a severe disadvantage in private polling and was never able to recover. Mica spent over $820,000 to less than $250,000 for Adams by the last Federal Election Commission reporting deadline, and Mica garnered support from many of the district's mayors, with whom he has worked on transportation projects over the years. Some notable tea party figures, including Sarah Palin, threw their weight behind Adams, but she did not have the resources to compete with Mica.
Adams is the 11th House member to lose a primary this cycle and the seventh to lose a matchup with another member.
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