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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

It's officially Bill Nelson vs. Connie Mack



Connie Mack, who hesitated to jump in the U.S. Senate race, got what he wanted. He'll take on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the general election after both easily won their primaries tonight.

This has the makings of an expensive and nasty war as both parties need the seats for the respective game plans. Nelson, seeking a third term, has got a tough race ahead and has already been confronted with millions in spending from Super PACs and other outside spending groups that have emerged in recent years.

There’s going to be a clear choice for the folks to make a selection on candidates," Nelson said. "My opponent wants to change Medicare as we know it and turn it over to insurance companies. And I don’t think senior citizens want to haggle with insurance companies. And, he also wants to change Social Security by privatizing it, which would risk seniors’ retirement in the volatile stock market."

Republicans see the differences clear, too.

"Abundantly clear," said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Connie Mack will work with Gov. Romney to protect and strengthen Medicare, enact pro-growth policies that will create jobs and finally balance our budget.

“Meanwhile, his opponent has worked with President Obama to raid $700 billion from Medicare for their healthcare law, supported his failed stimulus and enacted job-killing policies that have hurt Floridians.  It’s time we get the Sunshine State working again and we can do that with Connie Mack as the next U.S. Senator from Florida.”

Said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith: “The primaries today mean Floridians will have a clear choice in the U.S. Senate race in November.  Sen. Bill Nelson or Connie Mack IV.  Bill Nelson, who always puts Florida first, or Mack, someone with an undistinguished record and a sense of entitlement.  Voters will have a choice between someone committed to protecting Medicare and Social Security, Nelson, and someone whose own budget plan would cut massive amounts of money from both programs, Mack.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:50pm]


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