Hasner challenges Mack, LeMieux to GOP Senate debates; McCalister and Miller can come, tooby George Bennett | January 6th, 2012
Despite strong support from national movement conservatives, Hasner has lagged in the polls behind not only Mack and LeMieux but businessman Mike McCalister and in the same single-digit neighborhood as businessman Craig Miller. Hasner addressed his letter only to Mack and LeMieux, but the letter says he hopes the Republican Party of Florida will invite McCalister and Miller as well.
The Republicans are vying for the right to challenge Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in November.
Hasner has been competitive with LeMieux in fundraising, but Mack is expected to be a financial powerhouse after entering the race at the end of October. Mack’s campaign told supporters this week that it will “achieve, if not exceed” its goal of raising $500,000 by Dec. 31. Reports are due next week.
A November Quinnipiac University poll showed Mack topping the GOP field with 32 percent with the other candidates in single digits.
“Connie Mack has not put himself before the people of Florida at all,” Hasner adviser Rick Wilson said. “Every other candidate in this race has put in the sweat equity for the past year.”
The Mack and LeMieux campaigns didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Hasner’s challenge.
“You have both earned reputations as proven fundraisers and skilled politicians with considerable support from the power bases in Washington and Tallahassee,” Hasner’s letter says to Mack and LeMieux. “I am realistic about the challenges our grassroots campaign will face in trying to compete with you. Nonetheless, I believe debates will only help to strengthen the eventual nominee to take on Senator Nelson.”