John Mica endorses former staffer Rusty Roberts in CD 7
Rusty Roberts and John Mica.

Roberts Mica
He wants his former chief of staff to win his old seat.

Former U.S. Rep. John Mica wants his former Chief of Staff taking over his old job. The Winter Park Republican endorsed Rusty Roberts in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

“Things are so bad, that we need someone who can go to Washington and make a difference,” Mica said. “That’s why I am endorsing today Rusty Roberts for Congress.”

Roberts, a former Chief of Staff for both Mica and former U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, filed in CD 7 in March. His campaign released a video of Mica voicing support alongside Roberts.

At the event, Mica laid out a case for change in Washington.

“We are fed up with soaring gas prices and rising crime on our streets,” Roberts said. “I will fight to restore energy independence and let American oil companies do what they do best, and that’s serve the American people.”

Mica was the last Republican to represent CD 7 under a different configuration. He lost the seat to its current occupant, Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, in 2016. That came after a court-ordered redistricting.

But another change to district lines makes it more likely Republicans can take the seat back in 2020. A new map signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and designed by his staff shifts the partisan make-up of the district substantially. Under new lines, about 52.1% of voters in the district supported Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, compared to 46.57% who favored Democrat Joe Biden. By comparison, Biden won the prior district lines by 10 percentage points.

Murphy announced in December that she would not seek another term, already leaving the seat open in what looks to be a difficult midterm for Democrats.

Now, eight Republicans are vying for the GOP nomination. Roberts faces Erika Benfield, Brady Duke, Ted Edwards, Cory Mills, Anthony Sabatini, Armando Santos and Scott Sturgill in a GOP Primary, which will be decided in an Aug. 23 GOP Primary.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Ron Ogden

    July 16, 2022 at 9:39 am

    This is how the political process should work. The man with experience endorses the candidate he trusts the most, while six other candidates give it all they got and will benefit in the future from the public awareness they generate today. Republicans at work for the future of Florida and America

  • Elliott Offen

    July 16, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Vote RED for wealth and income inequality the likes of which the world has never seen.

    Vote RED for a culture of greed, racism, incivility, and mind bending politicized religion.

    Vote RED for low wage exploitation and capitalist scams

    Vote RED for domestic terrorism to eliminate government so that hogs can grift Americans into slavery.

    Vote RED for ancient Roman plutocracy all in the name of Jesus.

    Vote RED for unstable markets for the rest of human history.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn