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Politics

Rand Paul Backs Connie Mack to Challenge Bill Nelson

May 8, 2012 - 6:00pm

On Wednesday, the scion of one political dynasty announced that he was backing the heir to another, as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed Connie Macks bid to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Macks father -- former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack -- held the seat for two terms before retiring in 2000. Paul, a rising star in the Republican Party and a favorite of the tea party movement, is the son of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who is currently making his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Ive had the opportunity to work firsthand with Connie Mack," Rand Paul said on Wednesday. "He is a passionate defender and a tireless advocate for the ideals of less taxing, less spending, less government and more freedom.

Since his election to the Senate in the 2010 elections, Paul has worked with Mack, namely as a co-sponsor of the Florida congressmans One Percent Spending Reduction Act. Paul signed onto the proposal, originally pushed in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., back in July. Supporters, who have dubbed the measure the Penny Plan," insist the legislation would cut federal spending by 1 percent each year for the next six years.

Paul touched on his work with Mack on the proposal in his endorsement on Wednesday and insisted that the Florida congressman was a conservative -- something Macks opponents in the Republican primary, namely former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, are looking to cast doubt on.

From standing against the Bush administration on TARP and fighting against President Obamas failed stimulus, to his introduction of the Penny Plan, which I strongly support, Connie Mack has proven time and again that he is a staunch conservative and the very type of principled leader that we need in the United States Senate, said Paul. "Winning the Florida Senate seat for conservatives means the defeat of Harry Reid, and all of us need to rally around Connie for the sake of our country.We need Connie Mack in the U.S. Senate."

Mack also alluded to his work with Paul on Wednesday.

Senator Rand Paul was one of the earliest supporters of the Mack Penny Pan to balance the budget in five years and Im honored to have earned his support in our fight for freedom against Bill Nelson. His fight for our shared goal of less government and more freedom in the U.S. Senate has made him one of our nations most important conservative leaders, Mack said. I look forward to working closely with Senator Paul in the United States to bring this country back to its founding principles, back to what makes America great and back to the road to prosperity.

The Mack team quickly looked to trumpet the endorsement on Wednesday, sending out emails under the congressmans name to supporters that Paul had fallen in line behind their candidate.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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