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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Former House Speaker Cretul backs 'mainstream conservative' Hasner



If endorsements won races, Adam Hasner would be out front in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Today, he announced the backing of former House Speaker Larry Cretul (the "accidental speaker" who took over during the controversy that engulfed Ray Sansom) who will also serve as statewide co-chair of the campaign.

"I'm endorsing Adam because he is the Republican Party's best choice to defeat Senator Nelson and take a mainstream conservative message to Washington," Cretul said in a statement. "During his service in the Florida House, Adam built an impressive record and was a forceful spokesman for the principles and ideas of our party - even when it wasn't popular. Adam is a fighter and the only candidate in the race with a consistent, limited-government record that voters can trust to be a reliable alternative to the agenda we see coming out of Washington today."

Hasner seems to have gone from playing the outsider role to portraying himself as the favorite of establishment Republicans, locking down endorsements from notable figures and operatives across the state. He's doing more public events -- and announcing them to the news media -- as a way to gain attention.

The campaign says he has maintained the same course, challeinging the status quo and "a former sitting Senator of his own party who was hand-picked by Charlie Crist at the height of his power."

With Mike McCalister facing damaging questions about his military record, the race appears to be settling down to Hasner vs. George LeMieux, who is said to be building another big fundraising quarter. A fourth top candidate, Craig Miller, is taking the folksy approach with workday style campaign events but has not yet caught on.


[Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:03am]


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