Florida Congressman Connie Mack plans to enter the Republican race for U.S. Senate, adding a big name to a contest that has lacked drama for months.
"Connie Mack is running for the U.S. Senate. He is making calls. He is assembling a team. And he will have more to announce about the run in the weeks ahead," said David James, a senior adviser.
Mack, R-Fort Myers, declined to enter the race this spring when two of his former colleagues from the Florida House, Adam Hasner and Mike Haridopolos, were running. But Haridopolos dropped out earlier this summer. And none of the other candidates have caught fire: Hasner former Sen. George LeMieux, former gubernatorial candidate Mike McCalister and former Ruths Chris steakhouse chief Craig Miller.
Poll after poll have indicated that incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson will beat any of them. Also, Nelson raised about $2 million last quarter -- far more than the Republicans.
But President Obama’s poll numbers are so bad that it could be a drag on Nelson.
Mack brings a big name to the campaign. His father was a U.S. Senator from Florida. Mack, as a sitting congressman, can tap vast resources in D.C. Right now, though he has about $300,000 in campaign cash. His wife, Mary Bono Mack, is also a member of Congress and was married to 70s singer-turned-congressman Sonny Bono before his death. She, too, can help with fundraising.
Mack also has a built-in campaign issue: The Penny Plan, a proposal to cut federal spending by 1 percent across the board.
But even for a candidate with all of these advantages, a win in this volatile this political environment.
Mack’s first task: explain why he decided to jump in the race after initially declining due to family reasons.
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