WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson was elected to a third term after bucking a challenge from Republican Rep. Connie Mack.
Mack, a four-term congressman married to Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack of Palm Springs, sought to follow his father, the former senator, in the state that has been a key battleground in the presidential contest. The Associated Press called the race for Nelson.
But Nelson took an early and consistent lead in the polls, and Mack's campaign hit turbulence when attack ads highlighted his past as a “promoter for Hooters with a history of barroom brawling.” One ad called him the “Charlie Sheen of Florida politics.”
Mack’s mother shot back in an ad that said, sure, her son was “a bit of a handful,” but was a “good kid” who would make a difference in the Senate.