Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Florida Senate Race: Haridopolos Drops Out

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) looked like he was the one to beat for the GOP nomination to run against Sen. Bill Nelson next year, but that came to an abrupt end yesterday morning.

The decision by campaign advisor Pat Bainter and campaign manager Tim Baker to drop out was the last in a series of stumbles and missteps that plagued Haridopolos, who had trouble serving his role as Senate president and as a campaigner for a major statewide office.

“It became increasingly clear to me, and those around me, that the responsibilities I was managing on both fronts are in conflict. I truly believed I could handle both jobs, but I was wrong. Now I am determined to make it right,” Haridopolos said.

“Today, I am announcing that I will no longer be a candidate for the United States Senate, nor will I seek any other office this year or next. Instead, I am re-dedicating myself to finishing the job you sent me to do here in Florida,” he said.

The Senate field now includes Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller, the latest entry into a race. The Republicans are vying to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

As someone in my office said, now Mr. Nelson can run as a Democrat.