Campaign '12, Congress

Nelson gets his challenger; Adams loses primary

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), one of the strongest NASA advocates in Congress, now officially knows who he’ll have to beat in order to secure a third term in the Senate. Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL) easily won the Republican primary for the Senate seat on Tuesday and will face off against Nelson in November in what polls currently suggest to be a tight race. Mack, son of a former senator, easily beat out a familar name in space policy circles: former congressman Dave Weldon, who represented Florida’s Space Coast in the House from 1994 through 2008 (a seat now held by fellow Republican Bill Posey.) Mack’s campaign web site is silent on space (and many other specific policy issues), but does describe his “Mack Penny Plan” that would cut federal spending across the board by one percent per year for six years.

Another member of Congress who has been vocal on space issues won’t be returning next year. In a member-versus-member primary created by redistricting, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) beat Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) by 20 percentage points. Adams’s current district includes part of the Space Coast, including KSC (the rest, including Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is in Posey’s district), but redistricting put her in territory away from the Space Coast and in the heart of longtime member Mica’s district.

16 comments to Nelson gets his challenger; Adams loses primary

  • It will be interesting to find out Mica’s space related positions. No matter what, it’s hard to see how he could be worse than Adams.

  • As transportation committee chairman, Mica has been an advocate for the FAA’s role in commercial space transportation. I believe the House rules would prevent him from retaining his current chairmanship if reelected, but he’s fairly senior and might gain an appropriations committee seat.

    As for Nelson’s challenger, Connie Mack, it’s true he has shown little interest in space. The one space-related thing I’ve found is that he was the only Florida member who voted against the 2010 NASA Authorization Bill to provide increased funding for NASA. The bill extended ISS utilization through 2020; promoted commercial crew and cargo; added an additional 2011 Shuttle launch; and authorized 21st Century Spaceport Infrastructure funding for KSC.

  • vulture4

    He could not be worse than Posey, who will be on the ballot in the district which borders KSC to the south.

    Posey is the incumbent and is being challenged by Dr. Shannon Roberts, a former NASA Deputy Associate Administrator.

    Shannon is a considerate person, dedicated and knowledgeable, who served on the Cape Canaveral City Council after retiring from NASA. She is well known for respecting the viewpoints of her opponents and developing consensus and teamwork.

    Posey has a platform that can be summed up as “If you are out of work, blame Obama. If you have a job, thank me.” Posey, who is proud that he had only two years of college, thinks the SLS is a weapon of war and introduced a bill to eliminate all NASA climate research.

  • Googaw

    Thankfully, this bodes well for getting more crackpots off the government dole.

  • All of Brevard County will be within Posey’s new district, so it really doesn’t matter much what Mica thinks unless he winds up on the House space subcommittee.

    As for Posey, last month he told Florida Today that the U.S. needs to build a military moon base because it’s “the military high ground.” Several people sent letters to the editor (including me) pointing out the lunacy (no pun intended) of such thinking.

    At least he doesn’t claim that U.S. astronauts are flying on Chinese rockets like Adams did. She’s a dingbat. Good riddance.

  • Stephen: If he wins, Mica’s district would include people who work at KSC. And if he ends up on the Appropriations Committee, then he could be an important player on space issues.

  • reader

    >>At least he doesn’t claim that U.S. astronauts are flying on Chinese rockets like Adams did.

    They don’t have Walmart in Russia yet ?

  • vulture4

    Shannon Roberts (Candidate for Congress and very experienced in the space program) has a get-together at Fish Lips (in Port Canaveral) 4-7 today if anyone would like to meet her.

  • amightywind

    She is well known for respecting the viewpoints of her opponents and developing consensus and teamwork.

    Damning with faint praise. You mean she is another faceless bureaucrat that helped create the NASA malaise. We got enough of those in government, thank you.

  • Windbag is right! What we need more of in Congress are inflexible ideologues who are convinced that it’s their way or the highway.

  • Rhyolite


    This maybe a topic for another post:

    USAF is considering dual manifesting GPS satellites on Falcons. This would be a significant hit to ULA, which relies on GPS for several launches a year. Congress is getting involved:

    “Whelan added that some Capitol Hill lawmakers are pressuring the service to maintain competitive opportunities within the launch industry, which can make the multiple-launch strategy less attractive.

    “We are not in the business of putting people out of business, that is certainly not our intent,” Whelan said.”

  • vulture4

    Curious what it means. That they should buy more launch vehicles to maintain multiple competitors? Maybe with multiple launches they could afford to build more satellites. I think it makes sense to buy at least some launches from SpaceX.

  • amightywind

    USAF is considering dual manifesting GPS satellites on Falcons.

    Aviation Week is a well known shill for SpaceX. I wouldn’t read much into it.

  • common sense

    Oh boy! How low will they get? Poor Cernan. What happened to him? Radiation?


  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ August 22nd, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Aviation Week is a well known shill for SpaceX.

    Two things:

    1. How is reporting facts equivalent to being a “shill”?

    2. Aviation Week makes far more money from ULA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin than they do from SpaceX, so what motivation would they have for being biased?

    You’re pretty wacky sometimes…

  • You’re pretty wacky sometimes…


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