Former Congresswoman Sandy Adams Would Serve People, Not Special Interests.
By Jacob Engels
Six years ago, I met Sandy Adams for the first time at a Democracy Day event I helped organize at my high school. Multiple candidates had tables, but Sandy was the only candidate who actually showed up and worked the crowd. I was impressed.
Several months later, as she was in the early stages of her campaign for Congress, I called the number on the campaign site and offered to volunteer…hoping for nothing more than a call back from some staffer or volunteer. Much to my surprise, days later, I received a voice-mail from the legislator inviting me out for coffee.
An hour in, we were going back and forth like old friends. She invited me to volunteer at her campaign office, which at the time was being housed out of the back office of the iconic Vose Law Firm in Winter Park.
Sandy’s response and eagerness to work directly with an unproven young person speaks volumes about her character. She trusted me and gave me a chance, because she believes in the best of people.
This trait fostered my eagerness to help her win the 24th district congressional seat in 2010 and, after suggesting to Sandy that the campaign take a more intense interest in social media, she tapped me to help the campaign craft a digital media plan.
After many long days and sleepless nights, Sandy won the primary and then the general election. Using the knowledge and experience I gained from her campaign, I was able to launch a small business that is still growing to this day.
While in DC, Congresswoman Adams made a name for herself as an honest and tenacious legislator.
When former Attorney General Eric Holder lied to the American people about the Fast & Furious operation that led to the death of a border patrol agent, Sandy was the one who held him to account. She did not back down…she did not hesitate to put the Attorney General on the spot, because it was the right thing to do.
Adams also took the national stage to lead the fight for a renewed and improved Violence Against Women Act, challenging the assertion that conservatives are out of touch with issues affecting women. Mrs. Adams survived and escaped an abusive and violent first marriage.
In her first term, she also worked to advance important improvements to our tax code and fought to keep our space program funded.
When Sandy decided to charge on and face a powerful incumbent Congressman in 2012 after redistricting, many asked…why didn’t Sandy just wait her turn OR run in another district.
But, in something symptomatic of her leadership style, Mrs. Adams did not back down from a fight because the “good ole boys” said so…or because it was going to be tough. She faced these same forces more than once in primaries in during her time in the state legislator.
In the end, she would be defeated by John Mica, who has spent over twenty years in Congress. She refused to go negative and fought honorably. It seemed as though her legislative career, which started in the Florida House and reached DC, hadcome to an end. For a time, it had.
Following her defeat, Adams spent time with her husband, retired Circuit Court Judge John Adams, and relaxed with familyand friends. Soon after, her daughter Sonia had her first child, giving Sandy a new purpose and focus in life.
Following the resignation of Lt. Governor of Jennifer Carrol, Adams was rumored to be in the running as her replacement.Wisely, she demurred and focused on family.
When 2014 came knocking, Adams told supporter after supporter that spending time with family and helping raise her grandchild was her focus now…resisting calls for her to enter a primary against John Mica again for a second time or possibly run again for state house or something in local county government.
Periodically making trips to DC and keeping in the mix, Sandy was able to achieve a balance between focusing on family and keeping viable. She still had nearly $200,000 in a federal campaign account.
Then, Marco Rubio decided to run for president and changed everything. His choice to seek the nation’s highest office prompted Congressman Ron DeSantis to announce his bid for Rubio’s seat, creating an opening Adams could no longer ignore.
Sunshine State News reported earlier this week that Adams said that her decision to run for DeSantis’ seat would depend on whether he ran for for U.S. Senate, and on Wednesday…he announced his senatorial campaign.
Volusia State Representative Fred Costello, who faced off with DeSantis in the GOP primary in 2012, speaking on the Marc Bernier Show, voiced a lively endorsement of the former congresswoman. He called Sandy Adams uniquely qualified and a proven leader.
If Adams should chose to run for Florida’s 6th congressional district, she would essentially clear the field. Costello would retain his focus on the Florida House, and it’s hard to see who else could stand up to the over $100,000 left in her federal campaign account.
On the Marc Bernier Show, Mrs. Adams said we need more sane people in DC and indicated that she had been exploring a runafter residents of the district had contacted her about mounting a campaign for Florida’s 6th.
She had already been planning to move into the area for quite some time, as she has family in the area and will be giving her east Orange County home to her daughter Sonja and her husband Matt, who serves in the Seminole County Fire Department.
“John and I have been making preparations to relocate for quite some time, long before these talks of running for Congress. It would give him the chance to be close to his boat, and the opportunity for us to be closer to family and the beach. Our granddaughter Sarah loves the ocean.”
Adams 2010 fundraiser & supporter Wade Vose, who supported John Mica in the 2012 general election, said he was excited about the idea of Mrs. Adams returning to Congress.
“I am delighted that Sandy is looking at going back to DC. She is a passionate conservative and will hit the ground running like no one else could.”
Vose now serves as city attorney for the county seat of Flagler County and chief assistant city attorney for Volusia County’s most populous city.
Residents of Florida’s 6th Congressional District who want a citizen legislator who will stand up to the party power-structure and connected insiders should want Adams to run.
She is tanned (maybe), rested and ready. Sandy Adams in 2016!
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org