Senate races

Mack says no to Florida Senate race

Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) will not launch a challenge to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) next year. 

“I’ve got two small children and it’s hard enough to get to spend a lot of good quality time now,” Mack told the St. Petersburg Times on Friday. “I have a wife. They are all very important to me, and at the end of the day, family has to be No. 1.”  

{mosads}The Florida Republican, who’s known as a strong fundraiser and was expected to be among the front-runners for the GOP nomination, said passing on a Senate bid “wasn’t an easy decision.” 

Mack had an announcement on his Senate intentions set for Friday on the steps of the same Florida courthouse that his father, former Sen. Connie Mack, announced his first run for the upper chamber. Mack’s office billed the event in a release as an announcement on “the 2012 race for the United States Senate in Florida against liberal incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.”  

The speculation was that, given encouragement from Florida Republicans and Nelson’s status as a top GOP target in 2012, the four-term congressman would run against the two-term senator.

Despite encouragement from his family to make a Senate run (Mack is married to California Rep. Mary Bono Mack), the Florida Republican said his role in Congress was also a factor in his decision.

Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos has already jumped into the race against Nelson. Former state House leader Adam Hasner and former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) are mulling bids.

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