Former Republican Rep. Connie Mack has ruled out a bid for his old seat, which Rep. Trey Radel vacated earlier this week
in the aftermath of his arrest for cocaine possession late last year.
Mack, who served four terms in Congress representing southwest Florida before an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2012, issued a statement to the News-Press
on Wednesday saying he had decided not to run.
"In the weeks, months and years ahead, I will continue to advocate for our shared principles. But I will be doing so not as a candidate or member of Congress, but rather as a private citizen," he said.
"I will do all I can to support candidates in southwest Florida and elsewhere who champion the Penny Plan," Mack added, referring to a proposal to balance the budget that he launched during his Senate run.
Several other potential candidates, however, are lining up to succeed Radel in a special election that will be called by Gov. Rick Scott in the coming weeks, reports The Hill
Among them are Chauncey Goss, son of former House member and CIA Director Porter Goss, former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, who finished third in the 2012 primary, and state Senate Republican leader Lizbeth Benacquisto.
According to the Miami Herald
, Benacquisto is already in Washington to meet with fundraisers and political operatives about a potential run.
"Trey Radel's resignation from Congress has put southwest Florida at the beginning of a new and important political chapter," Mack said.
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