Nonprofit CEO and Navy veteran Heather Beaven (D) announced Wednesday a long-shot House bid in Florida’s redrawn and strongly Republican 6th district.
Most of the newly configured district is currently represented by Rep. John Mica, but he decided to run in the newly numbered 7th against fellow Republican Rep. Sandy Adams.
Beaven, the 2010 Democratic nominee against Mica, will face an uphill battle winning a district that would have voted 46 percent for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 43 percent for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2010. Still, as she would be running against a non-incumbent, Democrats think she’ll have a better shot at the seat than last cycle, when she lost by 38 points.
“Heather’s announcement puts the 6th district squarely in play,” state Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement.
Roll Call rates the race Safe Republican. The state’s Congressional redistricting map was signed into law earlier this year, but Democrats in the state hope Florida courts will redraw the lines, which might give candidates such as Beaven a better shot at coming to Congress. State Democrats allege that the Republican Legislature violated a new set of constitutional amendments that prohibit, among other things, crafting Congressional lines with “the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.”
Two of the current Republicans running for their party’s nod in this coastal district are former Ruth’s Chris CEO Craig Miller and attorney Ron DeSantis, a former Navy judge advocate general officer. Fred Costello, a former Ormond Beach mayor, is eyeing the race.
Some Florida GOP operatives think Mica might end up coming back to this district to avoid running in a contested primary, but his aides strenuously insist he is running in the 7th.