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Rep. Connie Mack gears up for U.S. Senate run

Rep. Connie Mack, R-Naples, will enter the Republican Senate primary, one of his advisers announced Wednesday. Mack will face fellow GOP candidates Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCallister and Craig Miller.

The Miami Herald reports:

“Connie Mack is running for the U.S. Senate. He is making calls. He is assembling a team. And he will have more to announce about the run in the weeks ahead,” said David James, a senior adviser.”

The Herald adds that “Mack has more of the establishment Republican feel to him, having endorsed [Mike] Haridopolos in the Senate race, Mitt Romney in the presidential race and Charlie Crist –a friend of his father’s — in the Republican race against Marco Rubio,” and points to his background — “his father was a U.S. Senator from Florida” — as well as his fundraising resources.

The Herald and the *St. Petersburg Times *highlight Mack’s pros and cons in the GOP primary.

The Times writes that Mack

voted against the bank bailout and the stim­ulus. But he also supported funding for embryonic stem cell research and was a vocal critic of Arizona’s immigration law, which would have required people to carry immigration papers and present them to police. Mack called it an affront to the freedom of U.S. citizens who may get confused for illegal immigrants.

“In a partisan Republican primary, taking anything but a hardline stance on immigration could be toxic, as Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has discovered,” the Herald writes.

Mack’s website states, “We are a nation of laws, and those who come to America need to do so legally. That’s why I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and why I support efforts to reduce and eliminate illegal immigration.”

Despite his statements about the Arizona immigration enforcement bill, Numbers USA — which advocates for “lower immigration levels” and attrition through enforcement immigration policies — gives Mack an A- average on their “immigration reduction report card” from 2005 through 2011.

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