Millionaire Nick Loeb, boyfriend of 'Modern Family' star Sofia Vergara, is mulling a U.S. Senate bid in Florida, and that could be bad news for state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who made a de-facto announcement last night via a leaked email.
In the past, millionaires for statewide office in Florida were a joke. But Gov. Rick Scott changed that. However, he proved that if you want to win office, you've gotta pony up sizable chunks of change ($76m in Scott's case). Albeit, Loeb doesn't have the same baggage Scott had, and he has the just-add-celebrity girlfriend who makes him irrestible to blog about.
Loeb said friends are encouraging him to run, and he's seriously considering it. But unlike Scott, he would plan on being a more traditional candidate who raises money from others.
"I'm not going to put $76 million into the race. I don't have $76 million," he said with a laugh. He said his girlfriend is supportive of him. He said their relationship was tested after he had a horrible car accident.
"Sofia was wonderful. She took care of me," he said. "During the Emmies, after she was nominated, she didn’t go out to the parties. She came right back to the hospital and stayed with me and she stayed on a green plastic bench thing for several days. She’s been great."
This wouldn't be Loeb's first foray into politics. He ran but withdrew from a Delray Beach state House seat to seak a state Senate seat, but withdrew from that as well amid a divorce.
A tie between Haridopolos and Loeb: former House Republican leader Adam Hasner of Delray, whose seat Loeb had sought. Loeb's a friend of Hasner, who's also buddies with Haridopolos (they were roomies when Hasner served up here).
Hasner said he's "seriously" considering running in what could be a crowded Republican primary in 2012 to unseat Bill Nelson. A big plus for Hasner: his roots in the Republican Jewish community, which has a broad network of big supporters.
Another buddy of Hasner and Haridopolos, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, might also throw his hat in the ring. He looks like he's seriously considering a bid as well. With good name ID, etc, he's considered an early potential frontrunner.
But there's another connection between the rumored candidates, Mack and Loeb. Both have a tie to gossip zine radar online. After Loeb's horrid car accident, he became a radaronline feature. Mack's wife, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (former wife of the former Sonny and Cher singer), was the subject of a not too flattering pic display at radaronline as well. (Note: the Macks weren't married at the time).
Looks like the only guy who's not in the Republican friendship circle is George LeMieux, former Charlie Crist chief of staff and brief U.S. Senate appointee who wants to return to Washington. Guess who gets attacked first?