Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Connie Mack campaigns for U.S. Senate in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Rep. Connie Mack IV isn't completely ignoring his GOP primary. Turns out, he voted early.

"What do you think?" Mack said Friday when a reporter asked who got his vote. "These are the type of crack questions that you get from some of the reporters."

Mack's comments came during a visit to Sayler's Suncoast Water, a Pinellas Park business that Mack used as a backdrop to try to link Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson to President Barack Obama, especially on health care reform. Mack also lambasted Obama for his "you didn't build that" comment regarding small businesses.

Mack, who irked activists by declining invitations to primary debates and has chastised Bill Nelson for focusing on his past instead of issues, said he's now waiting on Nelson to accept debate invitations. Mack refused to give more details.

"Nope, I can't, I can't," he said. "But you can ask Sen. Nelson when he's going to accept those debates."

Later on Twitter, Mack said that he had agreed to an October debate at the University of South Florida. The debate, Mack said, would be hosted by Tampa Bay CBS affiliate 10 News.

Nelson's campaign said it has accepted two fall debates — one hosted by CNN and the Tampa Bay Times, and another proposed by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association.

"The schedule will probably permit two," said Nelson campaign manager Pete Mitchell. "That's usually what we've been able to do in the past."

Mack, a Fort Myers Republican, has a significant lead in the polls over his primary contenders.

Former Rep. Dave Weldon, though, has picked up support from social conservatives, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Florida Right to Life. Mack loses points with these groups for his support of embryonic stem cell research.

Mack didn't make much of it, saying he felt good about Tuesday's primary.

"I think at the end of the day, the people of the state of Florida, we're going to win the (primary) election, and then we'll all come together and make sure that we can beat Sen. Nelson in November," he said.

Nelson also faces a primary challenge Tuesday from little known Democrat Glenn Burkett.

Katie Sanders can be reached at ksanders@tampabay.com.

Connie Mack campaigns for U.S. Senate in Pinellas Park 08/10/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.