DAYTONA BEACH— The Volusia Republican Executive Committee held a rare endorsement vote on Thursday in the hotly contested Republican congressional race in Florida’s 7th District, and in the 6th District, where Rep. Michael Waltz is the incumbent member of Congress.
Chairman Paul Deering called for the endorsement vote his committee approved the measure after fulfilling the necessary quorum mandate to have the vote.
In District 6, Rep, Michael Waltz easily won the group’s support by a vote margin of 106-38,
In District 7, combat veteran Cory Mills won the overall vote by garnering 119 votes, with Rep. Anthony Sabatini coming in a distant second with 19 votes.
Former City of Debary Vice Mayor Erika Benfield garnered 6 votes, edging out Roberts, Duke, and Sturgill.
Here is the final vote count:
Cory Mills —119
Anthony Sabatini —19
Erika Benfield — 6
Brady Duke — 5
Scott Sturgill — 0
Rusty Roberts —0
Only four of the eight qualified Republican congressional candidates —Cory Mills, Brady Duke, Erika Benfield, Scott Sturgill—were on hand to address the Republican faithful in hopes to garner enough support to win the overall vote.
Earlier in the week, Rep. Sabatini distributed a letter to Volusia Republicans opposing the endorsement vote.
Benfield, Rusty Roberts, and Ted Edwards, also signed onto Sabatini’s letter.
The endorsement vote is not going to win Mills the election, but it could help him tip the scale a bit with undecided Republican voters when Absentee Ballots are mailed in late July.
Sabatini recently won a “hob nob” straw poll in Seminole County and has been campaigning on the results.
Expect Mills to do the same with the Volusia REC endorsement vote.
Florida’s primary election is Tuesday, August 23.