by Javier ManjarresFlorida Senate President and former U.S. Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos has decided that he will not be supporting Hasner in the 2012 U.S. Senate race. Haridopolos announced last week that he would no longer be a candidate for Senate in 2012.
In a recent phone conversation I had with Haridopolos, he indicated to me that there is the possibility of “someone else” getting into the race, and named Congressman Allen West as a possible candidate that would be a very strong contender as well as Congressman Tom Rooney.
Haridopolos believes that Hasner was too critical of him during his first term as Senate President, especially in regards to the E-Verify measure that failed to pass in the Senate under his watch. Haridopolos stated that Hasner “had an opportunity for 8 years to get something done on illegal immigration.” However, Hasner did help push an E-Verify measure- HB 219 in the 2010 Legislative session, which was sponsored by Congresswoman Sandy Adams, but eventually failed to pass.
Haridopolos was warned by many in the pro-legal immigration lobby that this issue was too important to ignore, and if he did not pass an E-Verify bill in the Senate, his U.S. Senate race candidacy would be over. Haridopolos ultimately voted for the E-Verify measure, but the bill still failed to pass in the state Senate, prompting critics to complain that he did not do enough to ensure the passage of the bill.
At the end of the day, Haridopolos left the race on his own accord. The fact that he was the only active legislator in the primary race at the time meant that his legislative session needed to be a near flawless performance if he was going to garner strong primary support from conservatives. While the session had many successes, the failure of the immigration bill was too much for Haridopolos to overcome. That said, Mike Haridopolos still has a bright future in politics should he at some point after 2012 decide he is still interested in running for higher office.But now, the question remains- if Haridopolos will not support Hasner, will he throw his support behind Senator George LeMieux or perhaps some other candidate, or will he stay out of the race entirely?