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Catholic writer enters Senate race

Posted Aug 16, 2011 by William March

Updated Aug 16, 2011 at 02:00 PM

Marielena Montesino de Stuart, an orthodox Catholic blogger from the town of Ave Maria, has filed to run in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

In an announcement on her blog and her campaign web site, Stuart calls herself “the true conservative” in the race, and advocates a typical platform of conservative GOP issues—gun rights, opposition to abortion, a pledge to cut government spending.

Stuart has become something of a conservative gadfly in the town of Ave Maria, a town developed as a Catholic community including Ave Maria University. In 2009, she was banned from the university campus after repeatedly criticizing the university for what she considered insufficient Catholic orthodoxy.

Among her causes has been opposition to attempts by the state and Collier County to lure Jackson Laboratory, a prestigious laboratory focussing on genetics and inherited diseases, to open a facility there. Stuart opposed the effort because Jackson doesn’t rule out research using embryonic stem cells.

Stuart joins a field of GOP candidates hoping for the nomination to run against Sen. Bill Nelson, including Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller.