Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Missed votes could be issue for Connie Mack as U.S. Senate campaign heats up



conniemack.jpgRep. Connie Mack was in Miami today picking up the endorsement of Jeb Bush Jr., another boost for his U.S. Senate campaign.

But Mack, R-Fort Myers, was also missing votes in Washington -- and not just today.

His attendance has plummeted over the past month as he begins the Senate campaign, including a stint traveling with Mitt Romney last week. Of the 33 votes this year, Mack has missed 29, according to records.

A good portion of the missed votes, to be fair, are on minor things.

But Mack missed a vote to repeal part of "Obamacare," freezing congressional pay, a crackdown on ultralight plane drug smuggling (passed in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) and today, a balanced budget measure along with one on air traffic safety.

Mack did make a vote on Jan. 18 to express disapproval with a debt ceiling increase.

Missed votes have long been an issue for politicians on the campaign trail. In 2006, Jim Davis got hammered for his missed votes while he was running for governor. The voting record was a staple of Charlie Crist’s TV ads, which showed an empty chair careening across Capitol Hill and described Davis as a “do nothing” congressman. John McCain faced the same issue in his run for president.

Mack spokesman David James writes: "We knew when Florida moved its Presidential Primary we would miss some votes early on this year, and so far that's included several Democrat amendments and largely procedural matters. The far bigger task for Floridians is stopping Barack Obama from taking our country any further in the wrong direction. That fight is usually in Washington, but for the past two weeks it has been in Florida by ensuring a win for Mitt Romney in the Presidential Primary."

[Last modified: Friday, February 3, 2012 4:30pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours