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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Senate hopefuls in Florida kiss DeMint's ring



All of the major names considering running in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate have met with Sen. Jim DeMint to feel out his support, the South Carolina lawmaker and tea party leader said today.jim-demint-photo-050610-xlg.jpg

"I don't want to mention names but we've had three or four people from Florida come talk to us about support from the Senate Conservatives Fund," DeMint told the Buzz. "What we're going to do right now is watch and see where the people of Florida gravitate and who puts together the best campaign organization. ... Marco (Rubio) was kind of an exception because the contrasts between the candidates were so clear. At some point if there's a clear difference in the candidates, we may get involved in the primary."

State Senate President Mike Haridopolos is the only major candidate to declare but he has possible foes in George LeMieux, Connie Mack and Adam Hasner, among others. (Hasner is confirmed to have met with DeMint)

DeMint said he's confident Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson can be defeated. "He seems to be at odds with the way voters in Florida and America are going."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 4:38pm]


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