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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mack rejected Crist's offer to replace Martinez



Former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack confirms that Gov. Charlie Crist approached him a while ago and asked him to consider filling out the remainder of Mel Martinez's term, and that he said he wasn't interested. (On July 28, when asked about Mack, Crist said it was "putting the cart before the horse.")

"I spent 18 years in Washington and concluded at the end of that 18 years that it was time to come home," Mack said by phone Friday. "It was time for someone else to fill that position." Mack said "it has been more than a few days" since Crist offered him the position, and that he made it clear that he had no interest.

Mack added his voice to those touting former Attorney General and Secretary of State Jim Smith as the state's caretaker senator. "I have a great regard for Jim Smith," Mack said. "He has a depth of experience and knowledge, both from a legislative perspective and from a Florida perspective."

Mack, 69, a Republican from Cape Coral, added that "I'm extremely disappointed" that Martinez is resigning with 17 months left in his term. "It would have been helpful to have had his voice and his experience on the issues that we're dealing with," Mack said.   

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:56pm]


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