Former Senator Connie Mack (R) has quit Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate campaign in Florida after Crist’s controversial veto of a GOP-backed education bill.
Following Mack’s resignation as Crist’s campaign chair, Republican endorsers from inside the state government have also begun to drop of the Crist bandwagon, leaving Crist increasingly isolated in his GOP Senate primary fight with Marco Rubio.
As the AP reported last night, Mack was Crist’s “political mentor” and a long time political ally. But in a letter he addressed to “Charlie” following Crist’s veto of the education bill, he said he could no longer work for the man whose political career he’s helped along for years.“Your veto I believe undermines our education system in Florida and the principles for which I have always stood,” Mack wrote, according to the AP. “As you can understand, I can no longer serve as chairman for your campaign for the United States Senate.”
Since the veto, other Republicans have withdrawn their endorsements of Crist. As the Miami Herald reports today, at least one GOP state legislator has left Crist’s side so far, and others are threatening to do the same.
Mack’s decision to quit, along with the lost Republican endorsements, will only fuel speculation that Crist might quit the GOP primary race to run for Senate as an independent.
Meanwhile, Crist continues to lose ground against Rubio. The TPM Poll Average for the Florida GOP Senate primary shows Rubio in the lead by a margin of 59.1-27.9.