Former U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams put out a quick news release Wednesday afternoon announcing she will suspend her congressional campaign in Florida’s 6th Congressional District because of health issues.
“I recently discovered a significant health issue that demands my focus and attention,” Adams said in the release. “Over the next several weeks, I will be focusing on my health and will reassess my campaign to determine if I can give it a 100% commitment. I owe that to my family, and to the residents of the 6th District.”
The campaign pause comes shortly after Adams was selected on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s initial list of of “Young Guns,” which put her in contention for major campaign support from National Republicans. If the suspension turns into an exit, the race to replace U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis could quickly turn into a runaway for New Smyrna Mayor Adam Barringer, Adams’ biggest opponent in the race.
Barringer is the current front runner, though Adams’ long record in public service has made her a considerable force in the CD6 race this cycle. Despite Barringer, a fellow Republican, holding a 2-to-1 fundraising lead over Adams as of mid-October, she has drawn endorsements from most Republican congresswomen as well as CD11 Republican Rep. Rich Nugent, Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz and the Maggie’s List PAC, which held a fundraiser to support her and CD 18 candidate Rebecca Negron this month.
The other candidates in the race, Republican GG Galloway and Democrat Richard Dembinsky, haven’t gained any traction thus far. It’s likely to stay that way for Dembinsky, because of the heavy Republican tilt in the district, although Galloway, a real estate broker and small-business owner in Ormond Beach, could stand to gain. He entered the race in September and was able to pull together $59,000 in contributions in the final month of the quarter, besting Adams’ $50,681 haul and coming in second behind Barringer, who raised $83,590 that quarter.
Adams was elected to Congress as part of the 2010 Tea Party wave after spending eight years representing Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties in the Florida House. To win the seat she had to defeat four other Republicans in the District 24 primary and beat incumbent Democrat Suzanne Kosmas on Election Day.
During her Florida House years, Adams chaired the House Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee, a perfect fit considering her background in law enforcement. In Congress, the former Orange County Sheriff’s investigator was on the House Judiciary Committee as well as the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Though promising, her congressional career was cut short two years later when 2012 redistricting forced her and current CD7 Republican Rep. John Mica into the same district. The 20-year congressional veteran beat Adams by 20 points in the primary election, despite the new district including a larger share of Adams’ electorate.