The Mack Name Advantage

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

TALLAHASSEE 6/15/2012 -- At first glance, Connie Mack has been one busy man.

First he played Major League ball, then managed a Major League team.
Then he went to Washington to represent Florida in both the House and Senate, then left.

Today, he's in the House again, trying to win your vote to go back to the Senate.

Even though he'll appear on ballot as 'Connie Mack', he's not the baseball player, not the manager, not the Senator, but *Cornelius McGillicuddy 'Connie Mack' the fourth.

It's a point his Republican primary opponent, George LeMieux, is making a central part of his campaign.

"I'm running against a hundred years of name recognition, but it's not his name recognition - it's his father's," said LeMieux.

Florida politics is no stranger to dynasties. Even today, there are husbands and wives, fathers and sons, serving at the Capitol, and they all have one thing in common, their last name.

For them, and now for Mack, it can be an invaluable tool on election day.
He has a commanding lead in the GOP primary field. In fact he's now thinking beyond the primary and refusing to take part in any debates with his Republican opponents.

Mack says a GOP dogfight would only weaken his chances against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson come November.

Many voters may not know the Mack they plan to cast a ballot for isn't the Mack they might be thinking of.

However, political strategist Gary Yordon says in campaigns, as in war all is fair.

"If you're Tony Mussolini, it's going to hurt you. If you're Connie Mack, it's going to help you. It's really not his fault his dad named him Connie Mack and it shouldn't not allow him to run, but it is a distinct advantage," said Yordon.

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