October 06, 2014

Movers & Shakers

Update on the Status of Women: Melissa Hagan has been appointed by Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.

Hagan and her husband, Aaron, own Emerald Coast Interview Consulting, and she recently served as chief development Ooficer for Gulf Coast State College. Hagan, of Lynn Haven, is a former teacher, curriculum designer and caseworker for at-risk youth.

The Commission, established in 1991, makes recommendations to the legislature, governor and cabinet on issues affecting women.

Her term starts immediately and expires Oct. 1, 2017.

Connie Mack IV joins public relations firm:  The former Florida congressman and state representative has joined Levick, a Washington D.C.-based public relations & communications firm, as an executive vice president.

Mack will also lead Levick's expansion into Florida and will open the firm's Miami office.

Continue reading "Movers & Shakers" »

November 20, 2013

After Rep. Radel's cocaine bust, a Connie Mack comeback?


Shortly after Congressman Trey Radel's cocaine bust in DC went viral, the inevitable speculation about the future of his seat started and inevitably settled on one person in particular: Former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, who once held the Fort Myers seat.

Apparently, a few reporters called Mack's political team, which didn't really knock down the speculation with this statement that had political insiders buzzing after it was blasted out:

 FORT MYERS -- In response to questions that he has received this evening, former Congressman Connie Mack issued the following statement regarding Rep. Trey Radel.

Mack said:

"This is undoubtedly a very difficult time for Trey and his family and I'm sure all of us in Southwest Florida are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. 

"It is important that we all appreciate the very personal nature of Trey's situation and understand that it is premature to respond to or consider political questions at this time."

It should be noted that Mack endorsed Radel, so there are no hard feelings apparently there. However, that might not be the case with some of Radel's opponents in the GOP primary that included Radel, Chauncey Goss and former state Reps Paige Kreegel and Gary Aubuchon.

Mack had left his congressional seat in a tough and failed bid last year against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who won the post after Mack's father and namesake retired from the U.S. Senate in 2000.


March 27, 2013

Bill Nelson has 'no intention' of running for gov, stays mum on Crist

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he is not planning to run against Gov. Rick Scott in the 2014 governor's race but stopped short of completely ruling it out.

"I'm not planning to run for governor," he said Wednesday in Tallahassee. "I have no intention of running for governor. I've got plenty to do as serving as the senator of this state, and that's why I'm here today, in my role as senator."

Will you say that you won't run for governor? a reporter asked. "I said what I said," Nelson replied

Continue reading "Bill Nelson has 'no intention' of running for gov, stays mum on Crist" »

November 07, 2012

Mack's wife loses race in California congressional seat

Bono MackOne of Washington's most powerful political couples has lost its clout. Mary Bono Mack, the wife of U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, appears to have been defeated on Tuesday after a difficult match-up against a newcomer in her Palm Springs, California, district.

Bono Mack, a 14-year veteran, was losing to Democrat Raul Ruiz, an emergency room doctor late Wednesday, although she had refused to concede because of a number of uncounted ballots. She was first elected to replace her previous husband, singer Sonny Bono, in Congress after his death in a skiing accident. 

Her husband, Connie Mack IV, also lost his election bid on Tuesday, falling to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson 55-42 percent. He was elected to Congress in 2004 and the couple was married in 2006. Story here. 

November 05, 2012

Bill Nelson returns to old-fashioned sign-waving on closing day


U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is an old school guy, so he stuck to an old school method of campaigning Monday in Orlando, waving signs at Bumby Avenue and Colonial Drive. He's been working the corner since 1972, he said, and says it still works.

"Just listen, and you'll be able to tell," the 70-year-old Democrat said, his face beaming at when cars honked their approval. At his side was his wife, Grace. Nelson was scheduled to appear later in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, his Republican rival Connie Mack IV joined Mitt Romney at a rally at the Sanford airport Monday morning and then had plans to travel to Tampa and finishe the day in Naples. 

Photo by Scott Keeler | Times

-- Alex Leary

November 03, 2012

Herald poll: Nelson holds 6-point lead; 49-43 over Mack

UPDATE: Republican Mitt Romney’s coattails do not appear to be long enough to carry U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV into the U.S. Senate, according to a new Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald/Tampa Bay Times poll.

Democrat Bill Nelson, 70, a two-term senator from Orlando, retains a six-point lead in the high profile match-up, as Republican ticket-splitters and independent voters continue to provide the crucial margin Nelson needs to return to Washington.

According to the survey of voters taken Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, Nelson leads Mack 49-43 percent and gets one out of every nine Romney voters — a sign that voters are looking for “someone who can work across the aisle’’ in the closely-divided Senate, said Brad Coker, director of the non-partisan Mason Dixon Polling and Research, which conducted the poll.

“Independents aren’t sold that Republicans have the answers, and they aren’t sold that Democrats have the answers,’’ he said.

The breakdown on the Romney voters: 80 percent vote for Mack, 12 percent vote for Nelson, 4 percent vote for the other Senate candidates and 4 percent are still undecided. Story here.

David James, deputy campaign manager released this statement: 

“The problem with the poll is that it has 5% more Democrats than Republicans. That wasn't even true in 2008 when the cult of Obama was at its height. In a normal election like 2004, Republican turnout was plus 4% which is why this result may be as much as 10% off of the mark.

“Democrats are voting 70% less in early voting to date compared to turnout in 2008.  In the 2008 election, Democrats were only plus 3% in the final returns.

“We expect this election to be more like 2004, and our analysis is based on the eventual turnout being at least plus 3% for Republicans.  If the voting trends seen in the Mason-Dixon poll continue, when based on accurate modeling, Connie Mack will be elected and Mitt Romney will thrash Barack Obama."


October 30, 2012

Mack makes a prediction: he won't win majority but will win election

Forget those pesky poll numbers, at least one campaign in Florida is predicting it will win despite them.

Wait? You say that's not news? Well, take a look at the press release sent out by the Mack for Senate campaign. We think it's a rather loose link to his baseball heritage, a kind of Babe-Ruth-like called shot. (Maybe Mack's legendary great grandfather, Cornelius McGillicuddy, the former manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, passed down probability instincts of some sort.)  

MIAMI – With seven days left until Election Day, the Connie Mack for U.S. Senate campaign today predicted that Connie Mack will win the race for the U.S. Senate based on the ongoing internal polling and analysis conducted by the campaign.

Continue reading "Mack makes a prediction: he won't win majority but will win election" »

October 28, 2012

Senate campaign: contest between the self-proclaimed 'mainstream conservative' & 'Florida moderate'

Rick Johnson, a financial advisor from Shalimar is worried.

“I know it’s a tough time in Washington, but another four years of deadlock is not going to move this country forward,’’ he told U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV at a brief campaign stop last month in the military stronghold of Walton County in the Panhandle. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”

Mack didn’t hesitate with the answer. “We’re going to get this country back and that means more jobs, more security and more freedom,’ he said. “I appreciate you coming out.”

It doesn’t get more complicated than that for Mack, 45, a nine-year Republican congressman from Fort Myers who is challenging incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson for the U.S. Senate. Mack profile here.


 On a clear October morning, Florida’s senior senator stood on the red clay soil near his grandfather’s grave and pointed to the cow pasture behind him.

“I remember my bare feet on that cold earth that had been turned up by the big plow,’’ he told friends and relatives at the church cemetery halfway between Pensacola and Tallahassee. “These are the pioneers that saw technology change our way of life.”

Four hours later, Nelson was in Tallahassee, pointing again — this time at the world’s largest magnet housed at the National Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.

“We are going to Mars,’’ he told the scientists. “We need to create a magnetic field around our astronauts so if there is a solar explosion, they won’t get fried. Can you do that?”

“Yes,’’ answered Greg Boebinger, the lab director. “It’s conceivable.”

It wasn’t much of a campaign day for Nelson in this low-key re-election campaign, but it was a lot like his political career: book-ended by a pilgrimage to his roots and an homage to Florida’s technological future.

After nearly 40 years in public office, Nelson has bridged the generations and the technological divide. He has watched its cow pastures transformed in the wake of the state’s population boom. He was a civilian crew member of the 1986 space shuttle Columbia and is now the lone Democrat to hold statewide office in the nation’s largest swing state. His centrist positions on fiscal and social issues, and his low-key demeanor have helped him remain in office even as political power in Florida has shifted from Democrat to Republican. He is arguably the last of Florida’s old-style Southern Democrats.

But if Republicans have their way, the state’s longest-serving Democrat will be ousted this year. Nelson profile here.




October 27, 2012

Mason-Dixon poll: Senate race tightens in crucial I-4 corridor

Start sweating, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

The Democrat leads Republican rival Connie Mack by only three points, 47 percent to 44 percent, in Florida’s bellwether I-4 corridor, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 poll.

Mack — who is within the poll’s margin of error — is gaining on the strength of Mitt Romney in Florida, the unpopularity of President Barack Obama’s policies and Nelson’s struggles to close the deal despite decades in public office.

But it may not be enough for Mack, said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the poll. "At the end of the day, if Nelson hangs on, I think it’s going to be more about Mack losing it than Nelson winning," Coker said.

The I-4 corridor runs from Tampa Bay through Central Florida and is heavily concentrated with swing voters. Thus, it’s a good measure of how the statewide vote might go. Nelson, who lives in Orlando, is losing by 1 percentage point in Central Florida, which tends to lean more Republican than Tampa Bay, where Nelson has a 7 point advantage.

Nelson leads among independent voters, 48 percent to 40, but 9 percent are undecided, the poll shows. More on the poll here.  Profile of Nelson here. Profile of Mack here.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/27/3070071/poll-riding-romneys-coattails.html#storylink=cpy

October 24, 2012

Connie Mack campaigns with Sen. John McCain

In his quest to unseat Florida's Democratic senator, GOP U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV toured the state Tuesday with former presidential candidate John McCain, stopping in Tampa.

"There is a clear choice in this election," Mack told a room full of supporters in a Mitt Romney Victory campaign office on Gandy Boulevard.

It was the final stop on a campaign tour that included Jacksonville and Pensacola and featured U.S. Sen. McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

With two weeks until Election Day, they drew a distinction between Mack and his opponent, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

"Sen. Nelson has voted for higher taxes 150 times. I've got this litmus test: If you've voted for higher taxes 150 times, it's time for you to go," Mack said.

McCain championed Mack's record as a congressman — a record he said includes voting against the health care law known as Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank regulation on the banking industry, and the automatic budget cuts that would especially affect the military.

Story here.