By Tom Tillison
Does John Mica support fellow Republican Dan Webster’s upstart bid for House speaker?
When outgoing House speaker John Boehner dropped the bombshell that he was resigning, Congressman Mica was quoted by the Associated Press saying Boehner “does not want to become the issue. Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside.”
Read into that what you may.
But since Webster, a fellow member of the Florida delegation, gained the support of the Freedom Caucus, a group of roughly 40 conservative Republicans, which put him front and center in the race for a new speaker, Mica has been fairly quiet.
North Florida Congressman Ted Yoho has expressed his support for Webster, as has Rep. David Jolly, who represents most of Pinellas County.
Interestingly, Jolly was highly critical of the Freedom Caucus when Bohner announced that he was stepping down.
“The honor of Boehner stands in sharp contrast to the self-serving idiocy of those in our party who seek to continually divide us,” Jolly said at the time.
A veteran of 22 years in Congress, and former chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, it’s reasonable to believe that Mica’s support, or lack thereof, would be of importance.
So does he support Webster’s bid?
Or does Mica remain loyal to the GOP power structure and the failed status quo it currently represents?
Mica may have tipped his hand when he spiked the ball following his victory in 2012 in a race he said the media characterized as a battle between grassroots conservatives and the party’s establishment wing.
“They said that this race was about the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Mica told supporters during a victory speech. “I’m here to tell you tonight that the heart and soul of the Republican Party is doing fine here in Central Florida.”
Three short years later, with the very same Republican Party mired in a serious identity crisis, Central Floridians are eager to know where Mica stands.