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John Mica's Drive Delivers Undeniable Results

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Several weeks ago I met with the veteran Central Florida Congressman, with whom I have long harangued and opposed. Buckle in.


By Jacob Engels


Those who have followed our publications, East Orlando Post and Seminole County Post, know too well that we have not been fans of Congressman John Mica. Full disclosure, I count Congresswoman Sandy Adams a mentor and her primary battle with Mr. Mica did not improve my stance on one of Florida's most senior members of congress. Alas, communications pro Alan Byrd, a longtime Mica ally organized a meeting between Congressman Mica and myself before we entered the 2016, and it was eye-opening.


Below, find my question and answer session with the undeniably effective Congressman.


What motivated you to run for office in the first place, and why keep running for re-election?


I became intrigued in government and public office when I was in high school and involved with the debate team and student government. I thought government was cool, and admittedly, was kind of a nerd. After college, a successful run in the private sector, and becoming involved in our HOA... I felt that I had the freedom to serve in elected office, without having to rely on elected office as my main and most substantial source of income.


Really though, I felt my expertise in business and trade made me uniquely qualified to usher in positive and effective change in Washington. Fast forward to the present, and the things we have been able to accomplish not only for America but also Florida, speak for themselves.


Tell us about your new focuses in the transportation, simulation, and defense sectors.


We have worked hard to make sure that the I-4 expansion is a public-private partnership, and that we ban tolling on any free lanes in Central Florida. Any new tolls will focus on new lanes that travelers will have the choice to use or not to use, much like the high-occupancy-lanes in South Florida. The intelligent transportation project is extremely innovative.


This system emits data and sends a signal that allows instantaneous adjustments for our traffic lights. It will help streamline the efficiency and flow of our roadways, and we have secured the funds to deploy this tech to major arteries throughout Central Florida in the next five years. Currently, our defense industry and military need our attention desperately. We are at war with ISIS, which is a radical caliphate that wants to wipe us off the map.


We need the funds necessary to protect our country and have no time for hiccups. I have been working hard with Congressman Darrell Issa to improve the security at our sites around the world and make sure there is never a repeat of Benghazi.


What do you count as your biggest achievement while in congress, and what is the thing you are most proud of accomplishing during your most recent term?


Improving access to the Orlando International Airport for Central Florida, opening up competition in our railway system, and working to make sure their is private sector involvement in making our country a better place to live through improving our transportation infrastructure. Saving billions of dollars for taxpayers by exposing and stopping some utterly ridiculous government programs and instances where money was simply going down the drain.


Always an achievement when we can stop spending money we don't have.


Presidential politics are soon coming to Florida. What is your take on the current field?


Even now, it is way too early to tell who is going to emerge the victor. At this point eight years ago, Hillary was crushing Obama in 2008 and Newt Gingrich was leading the polls for the Republicans in 2012. I've worked with former Governor Jeb Bush, businessman Donald Trump, and Governor Huckabee.


The people have to stand up and let their voices be heard. Usually, I tend to lean towards the candidates with executive credentials. I have quite a few friends running, so it is something else, a truly remarkable process.


If you had to name three local elected officials in your district whom you admire, who would they be?


Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is great to work with and has always treated me with respect and fairness. Seminole County School Board member Dede Schaffner has always done an amazing job with community outreach and strengthening our schools in Seminole County. Donald Eslinger, who is retiring as Sheriff of Seminole County is a stand up guy. He did so much to improve safety, technology, community outreach during his tenure. We will miss him.


Favorite movie, band, book, TV show, and historical or contemporary figure?


My wife Pat and I watched A Royal Night Out recently and it was a very engaging and interesting film. It is set during V.E. day in Europe at the end of WW2. Miracle at Philadelphia, which details the events and process that ultimately lead to the creation of the constitution, is something I could read again and again.


Musically, Pat and I love the Florida Symphony. TV...Pawn Stars! Historical or contemporary figure is tough... but I'd have to say Patrick Henry.


There you have it. Congressman Mica unfiltered and unabridged by any bias I might have.



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 [email protected]