Connie Mack says he’s not running for Congress

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Connie Mack IV, who served four terms in Congress representing Southwest Florida, said late Tuesday that he would not try to reclaim his seat..

“In the weeks, months and years ahead I will continue to advocate for our shared principles, not as a candidate or member of Congress, but rather as a private citizen,” said Mack in a news release. 

Mack had been contemplating a run for the District 19 seat vacated Monday by Trey Radel. Radel was under investigation by the House Ethics Committee following his arrest late last year for cocaine possession.

A special election, which will be called by Gov. Rick Scott in the coming weeks, will fill the seat until the regular August primary and November general election.

A recent poll commissioned by this blog placed Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto ahead of Mack, Chauncey Goss and Paige Kreegel for the coveted spot in Congress.

Here is Mack’s full statement:

“Trey Radel’s resignation from Congress has put Southwest Florida at the beginning of a new and important political chapter.

“I spent my tenure in Congress fighting for Southwest Florida’s shared conservative values and for the fundamental belief that freedom is the core of all human progress.

“I introduced new policy ideas, like the Penny Plan, that would balance the budget in a common-sense responsible way. I always stood for principle over politics, even on controversial issues like Arizona’s immigration law. And I did all I could to stand up for the rights of people in Venezuela and elsewhere against the dictators and thugocrats who oppress them in ways few Americans can truly understand.

“These have always been my passions. They always will be. In the weeks, months and years ahead I will continue to advocate for our shared principles,not as a candidate or Member of Congress, but rather as a private citizen. And I will do all I can to support candidates in Southwest Florida and elsewhere who champion the Penny Plan.

“I hope the people of Southwest Florida will join with me in ensuring we elect a new Representative who will represent us with the passion and grace our community and our country needs, and who will be an unwavering defender of the simple idea that freedom matters because freedom works.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.