Incumbent Republican Bill Posey might have skipped our interview because he feels comfortable in the congressional seat he’s held since 2008.
He ought to be feeling some discomfort in this Republican primary. Posey faces a challenge from Scott Caine, a retired Air Force fighter pilot who’s offering voters in this district an appealing alternative.
Caine checks a lot of boxes, not least of which is 30 years of military experience that included command-level assignments that prepare him for making informed and intelligent defense and foreign-policy decisions.
He has deep roots in the district, which covers Brevard, Indian River and a portion of east Orange County. He grew up in Vero Beach and kept a home in the district while serving in various places around the world.
Politically, Caine has solid conservative bona fides, a must in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by some 70,000 voter registrations. He’s clear-eyed about the economic threats from China and the real threat from North Korea, and he seems determined to do something about the increasingly crushing burden of our national debt.
But Caine takes a refreshingly broad view, for example, on individual rights. While many GOP candidates thump their chests solely about the Second Amendment, Caine speaks to defending the broad array of rights the founders thought were vital to a free republic, like the First Amendment.
Caine provides some fresh blood in a district that could use a good leeching.
Posey’s been in office 12 years — long enough. While he brings a lot of institutional knowledge to the table, he functions largely as a reliable vote for both President Trump’s policies and for keeping the president unaccountable for his actions. Otherwise, he’s something of a non-entity.
Republican voters in Florida’s 8th District need to seize the opportunity to help Congress get a fresh start with Caine as their representative.