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Sen. Mack withdraws as Crist campaign chair

From the Associated Press:

Gov. Charlie Crist's political mentor, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, resigned Thursday as Crist's campaign chairman in his race for the U.S. Senate. Mack wrote a terse, two-paragraph letter to his one-time protege that said Crist was wrong to veto a bill (SB 6) that would have made it easier to fire teachers and tie their pay to student test scores.

"As you know, I strongly disagree with your veto," Mack wrote his fellow Republican. "Your veto I believe undermines our education system in Florida and the principles for which I have always stood." Mack went on to say that Crist's decision to veto the bill was "unsupportable and wrong."

"As you can understand, I can no longer serve as chairman for your campaign for the United States Senate," Mack wrote. Mack, who retired in early 2001 after a dozen years in the U.S. Senate, addressed the letter to "Charlie" and said he valued their long friendship. A phone message left on the governor's cell phone and with campaign officials was not immediately returned.