Arriving ten minutes late for his 2 p.m. press conference and reading from a prepared statement, Delray Beach businessman and U.S. Senate hopeful Nick Loeb announced that he was not running in the 2012 Republican primary.
Accompanying Loeb to the press conference was longtime girlfriend, actress Sofia Vergara, star of ABC's hit comedy "Modern Family." She stood several feet away from Loeb wearing dark sunglasses.
"With every fiber in me I want to run this race," Loeb stated to a small group of friends and reporters at the Sagamore Hotel on Miami Beach. "Unfortunately, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate. I am still in pain and not physically up to the rigors of the campaign let alone serve as a U.S. Senator."
Loeb was involved in a near fatal automobile accident last August in Bel Air, California.
Taking encouragement from family and friends, Loeb had been considering a U.S. Senate run for many months. He has been seen dining with Governor Rick Scott and pollster Tony Fabrizio of Miami Beach. Connected to Fabrizio is Roger Stone, a political consultant dating back to the days of Richard Nixon.
Stone was in attendance during the 2 p.m. press conference.
"Our political system has become so polarizing and divisive," said Loeb. "I have the passion. I have the drive. But the job of U.S. Senator requires physical and mental commitment."
This would not have been Loeb’s first attempt at political office. Having first run for a Delray Beach city commission seat, Loeb later ran for the state house in a seat vacated by former House Majority leader and current U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner. He switched to a state senate race after Jeff Atwater announced he was running for Chief Financial Officer.
Reliable sources had reported that Loeb was ready to run for the Republican nomination in the race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.
When questioned whether he changed his mind as a result of U.S. Representative Connie Mack entering the race, Loeb replied: “absolutely not.”
Besides Mack, the remaining Republican candidates include former U.S. Senator George LeMieux, former House Majority leader Adam Hasner, former Ruth's Chris Steak House CEO Craig Miller, and former U.S. Army Colonel Mike McCalister.