We're getting word that U.S. Rep. Connie Mack intends to endorse his old friend, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, in the crowded Republican primary race for U.S. Senate. Mack had toyed with running for the seat, but opted to stay put in his Lee County-based congressional district, which will be redrawn this winter by a Legislature partly controlled by Haridopolos.
Haridopolos' spokesman, Tim Baker, said he couldn't confirm or deny the potential endorsement.
So far, Mack is 0-1 in endorsements in Republican races for U.S. Senate. Remember, he stuck by former Gov. Charlie Crist in the 2010 race that Marco Rubio ultimately won (after chasing Crist out of the Republican primary all together).
One Haridopolos rival, former state House Republican leader Adam Hasner, is hoping to repeat Rubio's performance by hitting the tea-party and Republican straw-poll circuit while his rival concentrates more on sucking up hella cash in Tallahassee. One difference between Hasner and Haridopolos: Hasner would have voted for the Ryan Medicare plan and Haridopolos would've voted against it (background here). Note: Mack agreed in an interview that Haridopolos' position was a "mistake." But apparently it's not enough of an error to cost Haridopolos an endorsement.
The other Republicans running in the Senate race, George LeMieux and Mike McCallister, both say they would've voted for the Ryan plan if they had no other choice. As Haridopolos soaks in the Tallahassee money, LeMieux, a former Crist aide who was appointed briefly to the Senate seat Rubio ultimately won, is counting on some Washington coin. Hasner is hoping to win the movement conservative support and money.
McCallister, a former gubernatorial candidate and college teacher, is running as the most outsider of the contenders. His campaign calls the other three candidates the "Tallahassee triplets."