Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos dropped out of the Republican primary for Florida’s 2012 U.S. Senate race today. Haridopolos’ exit was not considered a surprise after the campaign posted weak fundraising totals this quarter and two staffers left the campaign Saturday. After raising $2.5 million in the first three months of 2011, Haridopolos only raised $900,000 over the last three months.
Through email, Haridopolos told supporters Monday that “it became increasingly clear to me, and those around me, that the responsibilities” of both running the state senate and being a U.S. Senate candidate “are in conflict.” “I truly believed I could handle both jobs, but I was wrong. Now I am determined to make it right,” he explained.
Florida Republicans are not left without any choices to run against Sen. Bill Nelson, R-Fla. Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, and retired U.S. Army Col. Mike McCalister have been running for some time. And last week, former Ruth’s Chris restaurant CEO Craig Miller announced he would be entering the race.
According to the latest Public Policy Polling results, conducted June16-19, Nelson is under 50 percent against most Republican challengers.