As former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV slug it out in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, a little history is worth recalling. When a younger LeMieux ran for the state House in 1998 -- the only other time he sought public office -- he proudly touted the support of the congressman's father, then-U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III.
"George LeMieux has tremendous respect for Senator Mack," LeMieux spokeswoman Anna Nix said. "George's first experience in public service was interning in Mack III's Washington Senate office in 1989.
LeMieux ran as a moderate Republican in that 1998 House race in Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors and Davie, and lost handily to Democratic Rep. Tracy Stafford of Wilton Manors. Then-Sen. Mack attended a campaign event with LeMieux on an oceanfront Fort Lauderdale condo canyon known as the Galt Ocean Mile.
In a LeMieux "Campaign Update" flyer, LeMieux also touted the support of then-House Speaker-designate John Thrasher. But Thrasher, now a state senator, is supporting Mack IV for the Senate, like the candidate's father. But considering this bit of Florida political lore, it's only a matter of time before LeMieux uses the line about Jack Kennedy that Lloyd Bentsen used to great effect on Dan Quayle in 1988: ("Connie, I knew your father. I worked for your father. Connie Mack was a friend of mine. And believe me, Congressman, you're no Connie Mack.")
-- Steve Bousquet