In the final days of his long-shot campaign for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination, Dave Weldon is also dealing with a family struggle.
Weldon's 25-year-old daughter, Katie Weldon, who lives in Texas and has long battled drug addiction, gave birth July 21. Hospital tests found heroin in the newborn's system, the Times/Herald discovered.
Katie Weldon hopes to regain custody of the child and is in a 90-day rehabilitation program, Weldon said.
"My wife and I love our daughter, Katie. We have often disagreed with her decisions but she is an adult and has set her own course in life that we cannot control," Weldon said this week when asked about his daughter. Weldon also has a 14-year-old son.
Weldon, who served in Congress from 1995-2009, said his daughter is still on his health insurance, though he no longer supports her financially. He last saw Katie in October, although his wife Nancy visited more recently, he said.
Weldon and his wife have not met their new grandchild.
"We will continue to do what we can to show our love in the most appropriate way we can find," he said.
Weldon is considered a heavy underdog against for the GOP nomination against Rep. Connie Mack IV. The winner of the Aug. 14 primary will likely face Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.