Florida Senate Hopeful Hires Two McCain Veterans

Posted June 22, 2011 at 7:47pm

Retired Army officer Mike McCalister has hired two campaign strategists for his GOP Senate bid in a crowded field hoping to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) next fall.

McCalister declared his candidacy in December and tried to boost his long-shot status against at least three rivals in a speech last weekend at the Republican Leadership Conference, an event broadcast on C-SPAN.

McCalister hired Buzz Jacobs, the southeast regional campaign manager for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, and former McCain campaign staffer John Yob.

McCalister ran in the 2010 gubernatorial primary and garnered a surprising
10 percent of the vote against then-Attorney General Bill McCollum and executive Rick Scott. He raised only $8,350 in his gubernatorial bid, but he appears to want to raise more money this run.

In an email to supporters Tuesday, he used his RLC speech to ask for funds. “I need to demonstrate to America that conservatives are ready to send another hard charging Colonel to Washington to fight the liberal, special interests and career politicians,” he wrote.