Trailing in the Polls, GOP Senate Hopeful Craig Miller Adds Campaign Staff
Around the State
Restaurant executive Craig Miller, now running in a crowded Republican primary field to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, unveiled two additions to his campaign team as he looks to turn around low poll numbers.
On Thursday, Miller announced that veteran Republican operative and political strategist Kevin Doyle would join his team based out of Jacksonville and that political consultant Brock Mikosky would work on the campaign out of Tampa.
“Kevin and Brock bring with them years of knowledge and respect within Florida politics. There is not much that they haven’t seen and I’m grateful to have them on board,” Miller said in a statement.
Doyle, the president of Wexford Strategies, was the state director for U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez. During Martinez’s Senate bid in 2004, Doyle led his efforts as North Florida regional director. He also served as a staffer in Tallahassee and in the federal government in George W. Bush’s administration. A former researcher for the Republican National Commitee, Doyle worked as administrative director for the U.S. Congressional Joint Economic Committee under Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, whose son is in the race as one of Miller’s primary opponents.
Mikosky is the president of Momentum Strategy Group out of Tampa and has worked with several candidates in the Tampa Bay area. He also served as the director of regional advocacy in the Tampa Bay area for the Associated Industries of Florida and as a regional manager for North Florida for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
A poll released this week from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, found the challenges that Miller and his team face as U.S. Rep. Connie Mack -- who announced on Monday that he was running for his father’s old seat -- enters the field. Mack holds a a sizable lead over the rest of the Republican primary field, taking 40 percent of those surveyed, followed by former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux in second with 12 percent.
The rest of the field lagged in single digits. Retired Army colonel and businessman Mike McCalister, who took more than 10 percent in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, placed third with 4 percent, followed by Miller and former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner with 3 percent each.
Mack -- whose father held the Senate seat for two terms and whose great-grandfather was a baseball icon -- commanded 57 percent name recognition, far ahead of LeMieux with 29 percent, Hasner with 18 percent, and McCalister and Miller with 17 percent each.
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