Scott Caine gives Bill Posey a run for his money in CD 8
Bill Posey is looking for weak links in the nation's supply chain.

bill posey
Unusual primary challenge has Posey spending early.

It’s not often a primary challenger shows much traction against an uncontroversial longtime incumbent, but Republican Scott Caine is showing enough in Florida’s 8th Congressional District that he is forcing Rep. Bill Posey to spend some money this summer.

Caine, a retired Air Force officer from Vero Beach who entered the race in April, raised just under $29,950 in campaign money in July and put another $11,290 of his own money into his campaign. That brought his total raised to $201,815 in his four-month bid, according to Federal Election Commission reports covering July 1-29.

Posey raised more than three times as much in the first 29 days of July, though his $92,921 is an unusually successful one-month haul for Posey.

More significantly, Posey spent $120,206 in July, leaving him with $356,119.

Caine, who launched a television commercial in early August, also spent significantly in July, dropping $70,808. On July 29, his statements showed only $39,794 in the bank.

The two face off in the August 18 Republican primary.

Caine’s first TV commercial sought to kick Posey out of the conservative lane, but that may be difficult. Among Posey’s political action committee contributions in July was nearly $5,000 from the staunchly-conservative House Freedom Fund, which now has provided Posey with $20,000 for this year’s reelection bid. Posey also got $2,000 from colleague Republican Rep. Dan Webster, of Florida’s 11th Congressional District, $1,000 from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and a combined $6,000 from PACs representing anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists.

Overall, Posey’s July donations includes $19,000 in political action committee money.

Still, if there is a chance for a viable contest in CD 8, which covers Brevard County, a rural part of eastern Orange County, and Indian River County, it would most likely be in the Republican primary. Republicans have 43% of the voter registration, and Democrats, just 30%. Posey has dispatched most of his Democratic challengers in landslides.

This year’s Democratic candidate in November will be Jim Kennedy, an engineer from Merritt Island, who has largely self-financed his bid. Kennedy has made loans totaling $75,000 to his campaign. He has otherwise raised only $24,033 in about a year on the trail. That included $3,661 in donations he reported receiving in July.

On July 29, Kennedy had only $4,857 left in his campaign coffer.

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]


One comment

  • Matthew Foley, Col (R), USAF

    August 12, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    As a fellow retired Air Force Colonel, I find it concerning to see Scott Caine both appearing in uniform in his campaign posters, while using the official Air Force emblem as a backdrop. Since attending NCO Prep School I was taught about the separation between the military and civilian government being critical to our democracy. I can’t imagine Scott didn’t attend some form of PME, apparently he missed this lesson. I have a strong suspicion HQ Air Force would have an issue with this as well.

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