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Broward's LeMieux drops out of U.S. Senate race

After failing to chip away at U.S. Rep. Connie Mack’s enormous advantage in name recognition, George LeMieux dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination forU.S. Senate on Wednesday morning.

"Connie Mack will be our nominee. He has my support," LeMieux said at the end of a video emailed to supporters.

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He said he campaigned on ideas, motivated by the desire for a better future for his four children.

"It is not my nature to step aside, but ... our message simply cannot be heard," he said, citing Mack's ability to raise money for TV ads and Mack's refusal to debate before the primary.

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LeMieux also noted the name recognition advantage enjoyed by Mack, the Fort Myers congressman whose father was a U.S. senator, and the support for Mack by many party leaders. LeMieux had been winning straw polls, and was billing himself as the candidate most aligned with the tea party movement.

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"Sometimes, for the good of the party, and the good of the nation, a candidate has to bow out gracefully," he said.

LeMieux, of Lighthouse Point, is a former chairman of the Broward Republican Party, who went on to serve as the campaign mastermind that got Charlie Crist elected governor in 2006. LeMieux was Crist’s first gubernatorial chief of staff and the former governor appointed him to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy for 16 months.

He's currently chairman of the Gunster law firm.

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Read the text of his video:

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