MCCOLLUM ENDORSEMENT - Mitch Perry08/26/04
Trying to rally to get the conservative voice in the GOP race for US Senate, today Florida State Senator Daniel Webster announced his endorsement for former Orlando area Congressman Bill McCollum (roll tape#1 o.q."and a social conservative")
Senator Webster was emphasizing the true conservatism of McCollum, in the wake of a teleconference held on Tuesday, in which a group of state and national conservatives blasted McCollum's conservative credentials. The issues that have turned off the right wing activists are McCollum's current support for stem cell research on embryos, and on his past support of including gays in Hate Crime Legislation.
That call was put together by supporters of former Housing Secretary Mel Martinez, who trails McCollum in most polls. There are some in the State Republican Party who believe that Teleconference could carry a negative backlash against Martinez. Bill McCollum who was one of the House Managers that Impeached President Clinton in 1998, and some attribute his loss to Bill Nelson for the US Senate seat in 2000 to the fact that he was NOT considered moderate enough for Florida Voters.
State Senator Daniel Webster, who at one time was a candidate for the Republican Primary, said that Tuesday's teleconference compelled him to announce his support for Bill McCollum (roll tape#2 o.q. "that's why I'm doing it")
McCollum was grateful for the endorsement (roll tape#3 o.q. "I really want to thank you for it")