Mack Says He's Not Running on Family Name

Connie Mack IV (search), the son of a popular former senator and the great-grandson of a baseball icon of the same name, has an edge when it comes to name recognition in one of Florida's congressional primaries.

Mack, who is seeking the House seat that his father held before he was elected to the U.S. Senate, brushes off criticism that he's simply trading on his family name.

"The same things were said when my father first ran, that he was only running on his grandfather's name," said Mack, 37. "I believe that most people now look and say that my father was a very good United States senator."

Mack is pursuing the seat of GOP Rep. Porter Goss (search), President Bush's choice to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

Connie Mack is short for Cornelius McGillicuddy, the name of his great-grandfather, a baseball manager and owner of the Philadelphia Athletics; his grandfather, a Florida developer; and his father, the former congressman and ex-senator. The younger Mack also has a son with the same name.

The Republican nominee in the heavily Republican 14th district will be favored to win one of Florida's two open congressional seats against Democrat Robert Neeld, 48, an accountant.

Mack's race is among six Democratic and four Republican congressional primaries on Florida's ballot Tuesday. Republicans have an 18-7 edge in Florida's House delegation, and few, if any, seats are expected to change parties in the general election.

One of Mack's primary opponents, state Rep. Carole Green, said Mack's family connections have helped him raise money outside the district.

Mack collected more than $1.25 million through June compared with nearly $436,000 for Green. Others have collected far less.

"I think eventually somebody looks at that and raises their eyebrows," Green said.

Another of Mack's opponents, Lee County Commissioner Andy Coy, paints Mack as a carpetbagger because he moved to the 14th District last fall from Fort Lauderdale, where he served as a state Rep. since 2000.

"He has chosen not to live in our district for 20 years," Coy said. "The voters understand who's been here and who hasn't been."

Mack's response: "I'm not going to use the fact that I'm the only candidate born and raised here against my opponents." Mack left Fort Myers as a teen when his father was elected to Congress.