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Jeb! to raise Cash! for Mack; one Senate debate also set

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 by John Kennedy

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will headline a fund-raiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack next month in Miami, the campaign announced Thursday.

The $500-and-up per-person event will be held the evening of Oct. 5 at Miami’s Grove Isle Club on Biscayne Bay.

Meanwhile, Mack and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson have agreed to what sponsors are calling the pair’s only live statewide television debate, Oct. 17. Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association are co-sponsoring the debate, which will be aired from Nova Southeastern University in Davie at 7 p.m.

WPTV-Channel 5 in West Palm Beach is producing the event, which will be carried by other broadcast partners in Florida’s 11 TV markets.

Mack and Nelson are still in discussions with Tampa’s Bay News 9 and CNN about another debate, tentatively planned for Oct. 30. The Nelson campaign wants to advance that date, to bring it closer to when early voting is scheduled to begin on Oct. 27.

Debate over Debates nearing end in U.S. Senate race

Monday, September 10th, 2012 by John Kennedy

The debate over Florida’s U.S. Senate debates appeared Monday to be nearing an end.

With Republican Connie Mack refusing to take part in a debate co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, Bay News 9-TV of Tampa, and sister station, Central Florida 13 have stepped in as co-sponsors with CNN of the proposed Oct. 30 exchange between Mack and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

“The discussions are going very well,” said Rod Gramer, vice-president and general manager of Bay News 9. “We hope to be able to have something wrapped up, maybe by the end of the week.”

Pete Mitchell, Nelson’s campaign manager, said his side would like to have the debate somewhat earlier. But an Oct. 17 Mack-Nelson debate also looks on — and sponsored by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association.

Mack’s campaign also accepted a proposed Oct. 23 debate at the University of Florida.  But talks about the talk-a-thons continue.

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