On second thought, Connie Mack eyes U.S. Senate runby George Bennett | October 27th, 2011
With none of the Republican candidates showing impressive polling or fundraising numbers, a Mack aide told The St. Petersburg Times late Wednesday that the congressman would enter the race.
Republicans are trying to field a candidate to challenge two-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Mack, the son of a former Senator and great-grandson of a Hall of Fame baseball legend with the same name, would bring a well-known name and presumed fundraising connections to the race. But Mack has occasionally run afoul of the GOP’s conservative base, most notably in opposing an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Mack cited family concerns in passing up the Senate race in March, then endorsed state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, in the primary. But Haridopolos dropped out during the summer.
Former appointed Sen. George LeMieux, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and businessmen Craig Miller and Mike McCalister have spent months on the campaign trail, but none has built a strong following in the polls.
Reports this month showed all of the Republicans far behind Nelson in fundraising. Nelson raised $2 million in the last quarter and has about $7.5 million in his campaign account.
LeMieux’s fundraising plunged from $951,558 in the second quarter to $402,916 in the third quarter. He has about $1 million in the bank. Hasner raised $535,000 in the last quarter and has $786,000 on hand.