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Florida - 7th District

Incumbent -- John L. Mica (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 7th parallels Interstate 95 from southeast of Jacksonville to northern Daytona Beach, where it turns to follow Interstate 4 southwest into the Orlando area. It includes all of Flagler and St. Johns counties, as well as much of Volusia County, parts of Putnam and Seminole counties, and a tiny sliver of Orange County. More than one third of the population lives in Volusia, mostly from Ormond Beach to Daytona Beach.

A steady influx of people into the 7th spurred the district's economy in recent years and pushed growth-management issues to the top of the local agenda. Retirees flocked to once-small towns near the ocean, drawing retail shops but not as many larger employers. A growing aerospace industry near Daytona Beach, helped by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has broadened the tourism-based economy. But the district is just starting to rebound from a housing market collapse and years of layoffs and fewer visitors to area hotels and resorts.

Once a major agricultural area, Seminole County became the suburban home to middle- and upper-class Orlando commuters and their families. But some inland portions retain their agrarian heritage, especially in bucolic Flagler County. The Daytona Beach area still attracts millions of visitors annually. Although gas prices and air travel fares can affect its popularity as a spring break destination for college students, it draws bikers and race car fans to its beaches and sporting events, including the Daytona 500 stock car race, which is held in the nearby 24th District.

Although Republicans hold a slight registration edge and have won the 7th's presidential vote since 1992, some moderate Democratic candidates also have success with voters here, and the district is home to many independent voters. Republican John McCain took 53 percent of the district's presidential vote here in 2008.

Major Industry

Tourism, aerospace, service

Cities

Palm Coast, 75,180; Deltona (pt.), 56,341; Daytona Beach (pt.), 49,175; Ormond Beach, 38,137

Notable

Daytona Beach hosts minor league Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the site of the first integrated professional baseball game -- a spring training game in which Robinson featured.

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