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FreedomWorks, billed as a national tea party organization, is set to announce it’s endorsement of Connie Mack IV for U.S. Senate in Florida later this morning.
An email that will be sent out to it’s Florida members reads;
“Democrat Bill Nelson is sitting on about $10,000,000, enough to attack and destroy his Republican challenger as soon as the Republican primary is held. We can’t wait until then to decide who the right candidate is to beat him. Every day we wait is another day Bill Nelson gets further ahead.”
The primary election is typically when Florida voters determine who the “right candidate” is. As for Nelson getting “further ahead”, in light of the realities on the ground, it’s unclear how today’s action changes the dynamics in this race.
It has been well reported in the media that Mack refuses to debate his Republican opponents, so it must be assumed that FreedomWorks supports this position, as well.
The endorsement comes despite the strong probability that opponent George LeMieux enjoys broader support among tea party groups, as indicated by a straw poll victory in Orlando a few months back. Mack finished a distant third.
A fact that is touched on in the email being sent out today;
“Of course, the beauty of democracy is that everyone is free to have their own opinions. There are several candidates in the Florida Senate race and different people will see different merits in each.”
FreedomWorks’ endorsement of Mack will surprise few following a conference call last Sunday with tea party leaders from around the state. Prior to the call, FreedomWorks generated talking points where distributed highlighting Mack’s achievements while chronicling the shortcomings of his opponents.
While there are varying opinions as to the purpose of last week’s call, it appeared to be an attempt to rally tea party support around Mack’s candidacy initiated by a number of Florida activists in Washington at the time participating in a FreedomWorks sponsored boot camp.
An effort that fell flat due to the limited support Mack enjoys from tea party groups around the state.
This is not the first time FreedomWorks has endorsed in the Florida Senate race, having previously supported former state Rep. Adam Hasner back in July 2011. Hasner would later withdraw to run for a U.S. House seat.