Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is in metro Miami for two events Wednesday evening, after he endorsed Congressman Connie Mack IV in Florida’s U.S. Senate race earlier in the day.
The former Massachusetts governor is set to appear at a campaign fundraiser at the Bilt more Hotel in Coral Gables at about 6 p.m., followed by a dinner at the Star Island home of Philip Frost. Both events are closed to the media.
It is unusual for presidential candidates to make endorsements in primaries for other offices, but Romney said Mack is “a friend, a strong conservative and the type of principled leader we need in Washington to restore fiscal responsibility.”
“By electing Connie Mack, the people of Florida will be sending a clear message to Senator (Bill) Nelson and President Obama that their failed policies have not worked to change the borrow and spend ways of Washington,” he said in his announcement.”
Mack, who represents Fort Myers and the 14th District in Southwest Florida, is in a fierce primary fight with former Senator George LeMieux, who is painted by some Republicans as not being conservative enough, and tied too closely to Republican turned independent former Gov. Charlie Crist.
Mack and LeMieux are the leading contenders in the Aug. 14 primary. The winner faces incumbent Democrat Nelson in November.
Mack said in a statement that he was humbled by the endorsement and said he and Romney would work together to defeat Nelson and Obama. A spokeswoman for LeMieux declined to comment.
Romney also made campaign appearances in St. Petersburg and Tampa on Wednesday.