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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Could Dave Weldon pick up where Rick Santorum left off in the Senate?

11

June

Former Republican Space Coast Rep. Dave Weldon painted himself the most "authentic" social conservative in the race to unseat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson during a meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Monday.

Weldon, a doctor, pointed to his efforts over 14 years in D.C. to ban human cloning and fetal farming, as well as co-sponsoring the Hyde-Weldon "conscience clause," which prevents discrimination against health care providers who do not provide abortions by entities that receive federal money.

"A lot of people say they're social conservatives, but they kind of flee from the issues once the debate beings. And I'm not like that. I'm willing to talk about it.

"I had a friend in Washington say to me, I'd love for you to run, I'd love for you to win because since Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback left the Senate we really haven't had a champion in the Senate," Weldon said.

Candidate and former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux also met with the Times editorial board later Monday. He is anti-abortion but said he is not asked about social conservative issues as often as economic ones.

[Last modified: Monday, June 11, 2012 5:36pm]

    

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