Connie Mack ends speculation; says he will not seek Senate seat
U.S. Rep.Connie Mack announced Friday that he will not seek Bill Nelson’s senate seat, but will, instead, run again for his congressional seat in Florida’s 14th district.
Speaking before media and supporters on the steps of the old Lee County Courthouse, Mack said his family takes precedence over a senate race.
“There will be other times and other fights,” Mack said. “Today is not the time to put my young family through a statewide campaign.”
Mack blasted Bill Nelson during his comments, calling the Democrat a “liberal in Washington”, one who has attempted to hoodwink voters into believing he is a “moderate in Florida.”
Mack added that he will actively support the Republican nominee who opposes Nelson, but has not yet endorsed anyone.
“Florida does not need a liberal senator … Bill Nelson needs to go,” he said.
Fort Myers resident Andy Hogan thought Mack’s announcement was little more than dog-and-pony show, one that gave no one the opportunity to ask the congressman hard questions.
Hogan accused Mack of spending more time in California than in Florida — Mack’s wife, Mary Bono Mack, is the U.S. representative for California’s 45th Congressional district –and said his staff has out-of-control spending habits.
“He talks about a smaller government and less spending, but his staff spends up to $100,000 a month of taxpayer money on goodies,” Hogan said. “They spend thousands of dollars on bottled water alone.”
Cape Coral resident Terry Miller was one of the local Republicans who got calls from Mack’s office to join the congressman on the courthouse steps.
Miller, a one-time candidate to replace ousted Cape Coral councilmember Eric Grill, and current board member for the Lee County Soil and Water — was surprised Mack decided to pass on a senate bid.
Also a member of the Lee County Republican Executive Committee, Miller said he is in the process of disbanding the Lee County Soil and Water Board to save taxpayers money.
Miller said he would like to see Mack consider a run in the future.
“I was confidant he was going to run but I understand his reasons,” Miller said. “It’s a good time to run, politically. But personally, it’s not a good time for him.”