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Mack in letter to Gov. Crist: I’ll not run for Senate seat

By Staff | Apr 3, 2009

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack ruled himself out of the 2010 Senate race Thursday in a letter to another prominent public official who is reportedly eyeing the position — Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.
“I want to let you know that I have decided not seek (sic) election to the U.S. Senate in 2010, and that I will instead seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives,” Mack, R-Fort Myers, wrote.
Mack said that after careful consideration, he decided against a run for the upper chamber of Congress.
“I had gone through the thought process and this was the decision,” Mack said in a telephone interview Thursday.
He added that he thought about “everything from family considerations to the things we’re doing in the district” in making his decision.
U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Orlando, announced in December that he would not seek re-election, sparking speculation about who would throw their hat in the ring to replace him.
Mack and Crist were among the Republican names mentioned as possible candidates.
Mack said in Thursday’s letter that he will support Crist, whatever his ultimate decision.
“I will be your strongest supporter and champion — regardless of whether you seek re-election or election to the Senate,” he wrote.
Although both are Republicans, Crist and Mack were polar opposites in their reaction to the federal stimulus package.
As Crist joined President Barack Obama in Fort Myers in February for a town hall meeting to rally public support for the $787 billion measure to reignite the struggling economy, Mack sent a letter to Obama stating that the stimulus package would not turn the economy around as intended.
However, Mack played down the differences between him and Crist, stating that moderate and conservative Republicans across the country will be able to unite ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.
“Charlie and I are good friends, and sometimes friends disagree, and on (the stimulus package) we disagreed,” he said. “I think we Republicans will work together to come up with solutions the American people want and deserve.”
The governor’s press office did not return calls for comment Thursday.