Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Wildmon backs Weldon
Posted Aug 3, 2012 by William March
Updated Aug 3, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Another well-known religious conservative figure, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, is backing former Rep. Dave Weldon in the Florida Republican U.S. Senate primary over the primary frontrunner, Rep. Connie Mack IV of Fort Myers.
Wildmon is the latest of several such figures to buck the apparent GOP consensus behind Mack as the challenger to incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Even some of those conservatives themselves, however, acknowledge it’s a stretch to think Weldon, a dark horse who entered the race late, can overcome Mack’s well-known name and win the primary. And Mack has his own conservative backers, including a committee of social/religious conservatives and the American Conservative Union.
Weldon is admired by some conservatives because of his hard-line anti-abortion stances in Congress, including opposition to stem-cell research, which Mack favored, and because he left his House seat voluntarily in 2008, after seven terms.
“We don’t need more career politicians who will not stand up for conservative, traditional values,” Wildmon said in a news release from the Weldon campaign.