Bill Posey picks up primary challenge in CD 8

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Retired Air Force Col. Scott Caine makes it a contest.

Six-term Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Posey will be facing a Republican primary challenge for the first time since his debut congressional race on Florida’s Space Coast.

Republican challenger Scott Caine of Vero Beach filed to run Wednesday in Florida’s 8th Congressional District.

According to Florida Today, Caine is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who has been thinking about running for a long time but kept his intentions largely to himself before filing. He said he believes Posey, first elected to Congress in 2008, has been in office too long.

That could set up Posey’s most formidable challenge in more than a decade.

The district, covering all of Brevard and Indian River counties and a largely rural portion of eastern Orange County, has been a solidly-Republican district. Voter registration gives Republicans a 12-point advantage, and no Democrat has come within 20 points of Posey since his first run.

Caine could not be reached for comment Friday morning. Caine spent 30 years in the Air Force, serving as a combat pilot, instructor and vice commander of the 9th Air Force, before he retired and returned to his home town of Vero Beach in 2017, According to a 2017 profile in TCPalm.

This year’s Democratic candidate in CD 8 likely will be engineer Jim Kennedy of Merritt Island.

With ballot qualifying closing at noon on Friday, Posey, Caine and Kennedy qualified for the ballot by 10 a.m. Two other Democrats and two other Republicans who had opened up campaign accounts in the contest had not yet qualified.

In 2008 as a state Senator, Posey ran for an open seat in Florida’s 15th Congressional District, which then covered the Space Coast. He easily defeated two other Republicans for the nomination, and then won the 2008 general election by 11 points.

No one’s come that close to defeating him since. In 2018 Posey defeated Democratic activist and business consultant Sanjay Patel, who’d raised and spent far more campaign money than any of Posey’s previous Democratic challengers, by a spread with 61% of the vote.

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Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


5 comments

  • Nancy Tokarz

    April 24, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Whoever that BOZO is that is running against Posey is certainly not a conservative. Posey has an absolute stellar record. I would venture to say the best in the nation. There would be no reason to challenge him. I’m sure looking into this guy’s background and associations would be very telling. Wolf in sheep’s clothing. Military service doesn’t mean he is some constitution loving patriotic citizen. Look at Tulsi Gabbard She was funded largely by the DSA. In May of 2019, Gabbard voted for H.R. 5, otherwise known as The Equality Act, legislation that takes sharp aim at religious freedom and the First Amendment, mandating that business owners conform to the affirmation of LGBT wedding ceremonies and the use of transgender pronouns, or risk losing their business. She endorsed Bernie!
    So, I’m inclined to believe this BOZO running against Posey is no conservative or Republican at all. Posey is 100% a conservative patriot.

    • Jeff Cusson

      April 25, 2020 at 8:21 am

      Politics makes us all a bit cynical but, please reserve judgment on people without some knowledge of them or their background. I’ve known Scott Caine for 35 years (he is my brother in law) and he is one of the most patriotic and intelligent men I have ever known. Similar to Posey in most of his beliefs, he is a conservative republican, a student of our founding father’s original intent for our constitution, believer in small government and that our ever-increasing debt can cripple our great nation. He is also a devout Christian man.
      Unlike Congressman Posey, Scott has served his country honorably in the United States Military for thirty years, he has degrees in Electrical Engineering along with three masters degrees (versus an A.A. Degree for Posey), but probably the greatest difference is that Scott is a leader of men. Scott is a fighter pilot who rose to the rank of Colonel, leading the operations of 29,000 military men and women. Eighty nine percent of republicans believe in term limits, including in concept Congressman Posey, but like many in congress, after a career in politics Posey believes that he was too important to leave. Term limits bring new ideas, new leadership, breaks the indoctrination of the Washington insiders and provides representation that still remembers why they were sent to Washington.

      • Ed

        April 26, 2020 at 5:38 pm

        I hope your brother in law enjoys himself because he likely just made himself unelectable for life in the district. Here is some free political advice. He is running against a solid Republican who is very well liked by Republicans in his district. Not many of them will forget that he made Posey spend time and money to beat him, which he will, instead of maintaining his focus of time and money on the Democrat.

        And while your brother in laws service is honorable, he has only lived in the district for less than 3 years and knows nothing about it. Brevard and Indian River have changed dramatically in the 30 years he was away. Posey on the other hand, knows the district and its needs very well and has represented them well.

        So it is far from cynical for those of us who have lived in the district over the last 20 years to question if your brother in laws intent is to actually hurt Posey by making him spend money in the primary in the hopes that it might weaken Posey in the general and the Democrat could win, which they will not win anyways. It is not called being a cynic, it is called experience. If he really wants to serve in Congress one day he should withdraw from this race quickly. Spend a few more years learning about the district he recently moved into and now wants to represent and try for an open seat after redistricting.

        • MJ

          May 6, 2020 at 8:37 am

          Well said my friend. I live in Rep Posey’s district and he has almost 100% support here in Brevard. He has a solid Republican voting record and anyone paying half attention knows this is needed at this time in our history. If Mr Caine wants to help, he should step aside and help Rep Posey get re-elected instead of splitting the vote. Otherwise, many of us simply assume he is not what he appears to be and will not vote for him for obvious reasons. He will essentially be wasting his time and money, possibly costing us this seat in the House or is that his intent? We’ve seen this picture many times before.

        • Anon E Mous

          May 6, 2020 at 9:11 pm

          You talk like Posey is an aristocrat who owns the House seat and that it is treason for any Republican to challenge him.

          Only in his first term (actually first year) did Posey actually challenge the Republican House “Leadership”. Well, in the last 12 years the House Republican Leadership has needed a lot of challenging. His votes may have represented us well, but the things that were voted on, in many cases, leave a lot to be desired.

Comments are closed.


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