Florida Republican Senate race gets a bit edgier

  • Connie Mack hasn't been getting great press of late

Republicans in Washington believe because of the number of vulnerable Democratic Senate seats up for election this November, they have a good chance of taking back the upper chamber, which has been in Democratic control for the past five years. The Dems currently maintain a 53-47 majority over their Republican counterparts, including two Independent Senators — Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman — who caucus with the Democratic party.

But the race in Florida for a contender to match up against a very vulnerable Bill Nelson has been a snoozer so far. It picked up some energy late last year when Fort Myers Congressman Connie Mack entered the contest and shot to the tops of the polls, due almost exclusively to his name (which is the same as his father, who served in the U.S. Senate representing Florida from 1988-2000).

But Mack looks a lot less formidable than he did just a few weeks ago, after the Miami Herald reported over the weekend on various debts and liens he still has.

And then the Tampa Tribune's William March came back with another story damaging to Mack's credibility — the fact that both Mack and and his wife, Mary Bono, claim homestead exemptions; Mack for his home in Fort Myers, Bono for her home in Palm Springs. They live together in Washington D.C., but Florida law says no more than one homestead exemption is allowed to any individual or "family unit," which means a married couple.