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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Connie Mack will NOT run for U.S. Senate

25

March

mackbono.jpgU.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV won't run for U.S. Senate.

"I've got two small children and it's hard enough to get to spend a lot of good quality time now. I have a wife. They are all very important to me and at the end of the day family has to be number one,'' Mack told the St. Petersburg Times.

His wife, kids and parents encouraged him to run and politically it made a lot of sense, he said. But the three-term congressman also considered his position in congress, saying he said he can be a leading advocate for cutting spending and taxes and, as chairman of House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, the 43-year-old Fort Myers Republican also a top voice on Latin America and challenging Hugo Chavez.

"I come at this from a different place than a lot of members. This decision, it wasn't an easy decision,'' said Mack, who was leading the GOP field in early polls.

Other Republicans running or expected to run include state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux. Mack said he has not made any decision about endorsing in the primary but will not let up his criticism of incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

"Florida deserves a senator who walks and talks the same way," said Mack, who is married to U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack of California. "Sen. Nelson wants to try to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Florida by voting as a liberal in Washington and then coming back home and pretending he's a moderate."

[Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 10:45am]

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