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Connie Mack Enters Florida Senate Race


 

Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL), who had previously taken a pass on running for Democrat Bill Nelson’s Senate seat, has apparently changed his mind.  As reported by the Orlando Sentinel:

Multiple news outlets are reporting that Mack, of Fort Myers, has changed his mind about running for the seat. In March, Mack said he wouldn’t join the race for family reasons — he is married to fellow U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-California, and has two children and two stepchildren.

But Mack adviser David James told several outlets that Mack — son of former two-term U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III — was back in.

“Connie Mack is entering the Senate race. He is making calls and assembling a team. He will have more to announce in weeks to come. Not only will he be the nominee of the Republican Party, but will defeat the out-of-step, liberal Senator Bill Nelson,” James was quoted in Politico, a Capitol Hill publication.

Mack’s entry in the race could shake up a contest that has been noticeably lacking in star power — and campaign contributions. In the latest fundraising quarter, Nelson raised nearly $2 million, about twice the combined totals of his three main Republican rivals: former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former Ruth’s Chris CEO Craig Miller and former state Rep. Adam Hasner.

Mack had earlier cited the need to spend time with his wife and two young children as a reason not to run for the Senate.  He endorsed Mike Haridopolous, who has since dropped out of the race. 

Mack has the name recognition to join former senator George LeMieux, former state representative Adam Hasner, retired Army colonel Mike McAlister, and former CEO Craig Miller as a major candidate in a race that doesn’t have a decisive front-runner yet.  As with any late start in a hotly contested race, he’ll have money and organizational issues to overcome.

Mack has four terms in the House under his belt, and his father was a two-term U.S. senator.  He’s the author of the Mack Penny Plan, an intriguing budget-cutting plan that would balance the federal budget by trimming one penny out of every federal dollar spent over the next five years.  (This works because it also puts a stop to the immense automatic spending increases that come from “baseline budgeting.”)  He’s endorsed Mitt Romney for President.