Haridopolos drops out of Florida Senate race

Amanda Carey Contributor
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U.S. Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos of Florida withdrew from the race Monday morning, citing the conflicting responsibilities of his position of state Senate President and Congressional candidate.

“In the early going, I was encouraged with endorsements from state and national leaders, support from colleagues in the Senate and House, and donations big and small,” said Hairdopolos in a letter to supporters announcing the news.

“Yet it became increasingly clear to me, and those around me, that the responsibilities I was managing on both fronts are in conflict,” he added. “I truly believed I could handle both jobs, but I was wrong. Now I am determined to make it right.”

The announcement came less than one week after the campaign experienced a surprise staff shake-up, with both Press Secretary Tim Baker and adviser and campaign manager Pat Bainter departing.

The Haridopolos campaign got off on shaky ground in the beginning, facing scrutiny over a book deal the state Senator had with Brevard Community College. Haridopolos was paid $152,000 for the book, which faced poor reviews and has so far sold about 70 copies.

And earlier this year he was formally admonished by the Rules Committee for failing to properly disclose his finances. (Florida Sen. Bill Nelson accused of political opportunism in wake of Osama bin Laden’s death)

Despite the early troubles, the Haridopolos campaign saw an impressive first quarter in fundraising, raking in $2.5 million. he was even endorsed by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Rick Wilson, a consultant for challenger Adam Hasner’s campaign, reacted to the unexpected news telling The Daily Caller,”This race is now a clear choice between the principled, limited-government conservative Adam Hasner and George LeMieux, who waged a war on conservatives as Charlie Crist’s maestro and ideological soulmate.”