Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
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LeMieux hits Mack where he lives; endorsement battle continues
Posted May 8, 2012 by William March
Updated May 8, 2012 at 03:43 PM
In a new attack on his GOP Senate primary opponent, George LeMieux charges—though without concrete evidence—that Connie Mack IV doesn’t spend much time in Florida and has a “troubling socialite image.”
Meanwhile, their endorsement battle continues.
Mack this week announced the endorsement of Bill McCollum, former Florida congress member and attorney general, unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate and governor, and a long-time mainstay of the establishment Republican Party.
LeMieux countered with an endorsement from state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale, LeMieux’s home turf.
Mack has the backing of more big-name party leaders, including five congress members and the American Conservative Union and its president, Al Cardenas.
Campaign spokesman David James promised “another major one this week,” and hints from the campaign are that it will be a national tea party movement figure.
But the Bogdanoff endorsement is another indication that LeMieux is trying to stay competitive. He now has endorsements from 32 sitting state legislators.
LeMieux also hasn’t backed off his attacks on Mack’s character and lifestyle.
The latest is based on Mack’s marriage to California Rep. Mary Bono, widow of the late singer and congress member Sonny Bono. LeMieux questions how much time Mack actually spends in Florida, as opposed to her Palm Springs home or the couple’s Colorado ski resort condo.
The web video—see it here—notes that the couple have occasionally been photographed at red-carpet events, and calls on Mack to release travel records to show how much time he spends in Florida or California.
“So where does the Half Mack really live?” says the video, using LeMieux’s scornful name for Mack. He says but he won’t prove. ... Republicans are concerned how little time he spends in Florida, and his troubling socialite image.
Mack responds that the issue is false and manufactured.
“I come to Florida on weekends when we’re not working in Washington,” he told an interviewer last week. “If they (his opponents) want to have a campaign based on falsehoods and lies, that’s their business. But the people of the state of Florida know that this is my home. … I was born and raised here in Florida.”
He added, “The reality is that I was in California last year maybe 11 days. It’s really not an issue other than political opponents trying to create – they’re desperate – so they’re trying to create an issue that just really doesn’t exist.”
LeMieux spokeswoman Anna Nix acknowledged the campaign has no solid evidence of the amount of time Mack spends in Florida, but said, “We’re not making claims without information, we’re asking him for that information. People in Florida do not feel comfortable with the amount of time he spends in Florida. He can prove how much time he spends her by releasing his travel records and calendar.”