Three More State Lawmakers back George LeMieux
Around the State
Three more state legislators are backing former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012.
LeMieux and former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner -- who is also running for the nomination -- have been unveiling endorsements from legislators in Tallahassee in recent weeks. So far, the other two leading Republican candidates -- retired Army officer and businessman Mike McCalister and Central Florida businessman Craig Miller -- have not garnered the backing of any of the legislators.
Two state senators -- Nancy Detert of Venice and Paula Dockery of Lakeland -- and one state representative -- Clay Ford of Gulf Breeze -- gave LeMieux their endorsements on Monday in a statement released by LeMieux's campaign team.
“I am honored to receive the endorsements of three great Republican leaders in Florida,” LeMieux said. “Their support is essential in the fight against the fiscal irresponsibility that plagues Washington. With Senator Detert, Senator Dockery, and Representative Clay’s help, we are one step closer to getting this nation back on track so our children and grandchildren can have the future they deserve.”
The endorsement of Ford, who has represented parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties since first being elected in 2007, is something of a coup for LeMieux. Ford was a deputy whip when Hasner was leader of the House.
“It is my pleasure to announce today my support for George LeMieux to represent the state of Florida in the U.S. Senate,” Ford said. “My endorsement stems from knowing his background and beliefs best reflect the needs of Northwest Florida. More importantly, his qualifications and desire to serve ordinary Floridians reflect the broad diversity of our great state. After reviewing qualifications and meeting the other candidates, I am absolutely convinced George can and will lead Florida in this critical time. He will help return us to the prosperity we had in the past and respond to the frequently heard plea, ‘Help us get back to work.’”
“I am supporting George LeMieux for U.S. Senate because I am tired of people talking about leadership; I want someone who demonstrates it,” said Detert, who represents parts of Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota counties. “With millions of unemployed Floridians, we need a senator who can hit the ground running. Having previously served in the Senate, George already has a total grasp of the problems we face and can immediately get to work on the solutions. Florida needs George’s leadership and I am pleased to endorse him.”
"In Polk County we like straight shooters and that's why I'm supporting George LeMieux. George's record in the Senate proves he will take on the problems facing America with common-sense solutions,” said Dockery, who also represents parts of Hernando, Lake, Osceola and Sumter counties.
Dockery ran a brief campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010, pulling out shortly after Rick Scott announced he was going to challenge then-state Attorney General Bill McCollum.
Hasner defeated the field in a straw poll held in Orlando at the Conservative Political Action Conference event on Friday, with McCalister in second and LeMieux in third place, 10 percentage points behind the winner.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or at (850) 727-0859.