Rep. Mack's past tussles an issue in Senate race

BRENDAN FARRINGTON AP Political Writer Published:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A former U.S. senator is zeroing in on decades-old altercations involving U.S Rep. Connie Mack IV to make the case that Mack shouldn't become the Republican party nominee in this year's Florida Senate contest.

Former Sen. George LeMieux is depicting the altercations as part of a pattern of irresponsible behavior that shows the 44-year-old Mack doesn't have the temperament to serve as a senator.

Mack and his campaign have chalked up the altercations, the last of which occurred two decades ago, to the congressman being "young and foolish." They include two road rage incidents, an arrest at a Jacksonville bar and a bar fight with a Major League Baseball star.

In a 1996 court deposition, Mack explained that in each case he was minding his own business, sober and trouble found him. The GOP primary winner will face Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.