Connie Mack’s hometown newspaper, The Naples Daily News, wrote glowingly about Mack’s primary opponent David Weldon and then announced it would be withholding its endorsement. Their words:
Now we better understand why U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, R-Fort Myers, refuses to debate his opponent for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Dr. David Weldon of Melbourne is a bright, extremely well-informed and experienced candidate who has a strong conservative vision for the future.
Seemingly prohibitive frontrunners in polls tend to avoid debates for fear of stumbling — saying something ill-advised that could be used against them. Calls for free and open debates — the red, white and blue American way — come up short.
After interviewing Weldon, a former U.S. House member who term-limited himself out of office four years ago, we see him as well-rounded and thoughtful on the key issues of health care, fiscal policy, economic development, the national defense, and aerospace. Weldon is effectively passionate — a veteran of getting things done with the help of other people in this community and Congress. He sees the big picture and knows that the economy, jobs and health-care policy come together.
Yet, Mack is going to be the GOP nominee.
His party is with him and he will be facing Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson, who also has challengers listed on the Aug. 14 ballot, in November. That is the contest, with a national focus and big implications — perhaps the biggest Senate race out there.
The Daily News withholds our endorsement until it counts, for that main event.