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LeMieux ends Senate campaign, saying 'establishment' has picked Mack

Down in the polls and facing a runaway lead by Connie Mack, George LeMieux today ended his campaign for U.S. Senate. He said he'll support Mack, the man he spent months attacking.

"The establishment has thrown their support behind my competitor, Connie Mack," he wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "Ahead of us in the polls, the Mack name enjoys widespread recognition that can only be matched with substantial advertising or the opportunity to debate on statewide television. Advertising, which our finances cannot support, and debates, which my competitor won't agree to."

"It is not my nature to step aside, but there is a reality to running a statewide race in Florida. Without the resources or the opportunity to debate, our message simply cannot be heard. This campaign was never about me. It was about my four kids, and your kids and grand kids. And ensuring that they inherit an America with as much opportunity and prosperity as the America left to us."

"As a former party chairman, I know that sometimes for the good of the party, and the good of the nation, a candidate has to bow out gracefully. In order to have the best chance to defeat Bill Nelson and put the Senate in Republican hands, today we will end our campaign. To continue would only hurt our chances in the fall, and that is not something that I will risk.

"Connie Mack will be our nominee. He has my support. Words cannot express how grateful I am for all of you that supported our endeavor. You have my friendship and eternal gratitude. To all of our supporters, 67 county chairs, the 35 state legislators that endorsed me, as well as the dozen of opinion leaders that lent their effort to our team, our finance team, and everyone who opened their homes and their hearts to me, thank you. I will always be grateful for your support."


"We welcome the latest statement form George LeMieux and agree that the internal fight among Republicans would not have been helpful in our shared commitment to defeat Bill Nelson. I welcome and thank George for his decision to support my campaign.

"I urge all the citizens of Florida who want less government, less taxing, less spending and more freedom to now join with us in our campaign to defeat Bill Nelson and to help Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama.

"This election is the most important in our life time. Our very freedom, security and prosperity hang in the balance. Bill Nelson and Barack Obama have put our country on the road to Greece. Make no mistake, the people of Florida have had more than enough of these failed Lockstep Liberals.