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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Bill Nelson gets his first official Republican challenger for 2012



mccalister.jpgMike McCalister, a Republican who ran for Florida governor, said today that he'll challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012. He plans to formally announce his campaign Dec. 6 in the Villages.

McCalister ran surprisingly strong in the GOP gubernatorial campaign despite little spending. He took 10 percent of the vote -- or 130,272 -- which was more than three times the 37,684-vote edge that gave Rick Scott his victory over Bill McCollum. (more background here)

McCalister, 58, is retired Army colonel and professor who lives outside Plant City.

A  pre-campaign statement reads, "America needs a serious course correction before it is too late. We must get this country headed back in the right direction. A course must be set that reduces the size of the federal government, cuts taxes, promotes entrepreneurship, rewards hard work, protects our borders and ensures a strong national defenses against the growing threat from aggressor nations and radical Islam."

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 3:00pm]


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