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Stemberger backs Weldon

Posted Jul 20, 2012 by William March

Updated Jul 20, 2012 at 03:55 PM

John Stemberger, one of Florida’s best known anti-abortion and religious conservative activists, has endorsed the underdog, former Congressman Dave Weldon, over Rep. Connie Mack IV in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

The endorsement doesn’t seem likely to change the outcome of the primary race—Mack is far ahead in polling and has a famous name inherited from his father, former Sen. Connie Mack III, and has endorsements from many of the state’s most prominent Republicans. But it’s emblematic of the dissatisfaction of some Republicans with their likely nominee.

In a news release, Stemberger called Weldon “solid as a rock” and “a true principled conservative” with “a proven voting record as a social and economic conservative.”

Weldon has been among the hardest-line abortion opponents in Congress in the past. Mack, like his father, an anti-cancer crusader, also opposes abortion but has voted in favor of federal funding for stem cell research.

Stemberger added in his endorsement, “This is a man who will not embarrass us in his personal life.” That appeared to be a veiled shot at Mack, who left his wife and two young children after being elected to Congress to marry Rep. Mary Bono of California, widow of former congressman and singer Sonny Bono, and who has a history of bar fights when he was younger.


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