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Politics

Is New TV Host Mike Haridopolos Building for a Political Comeback?

February 25, 2015 - 6:00pm

Despite getting out of the 2012 U.S. Senate race early, former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos shows signs he might be attempting a comeback.

Haridopolos, who from 2003 to 2012represented the district that includes Brevard, Indian River, Osceola, and St. Lucie counties,has stayed under the political radar, with many asking what his nextmove will be. Lately, however, he has started showingup at public events with other government officials.

Even more telling that Haridopolos is looking at staying active is that he now is following in his wifes footsteps, finding his way in front of a TV camera. Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos has become very well-known in Central Florida through her TV appearances focusing on medical issues.

The Mike Haridopolos Show, a one-hour show broadcast by Space Coast Daily out of Brevard County, started this month. The new show will be updated once a month, though it doesn't have a set schedule.

In his debut show, which appeared this week, Haridopolos had U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., and racing legend Geoff Bodine on as guests. While Posey shows no signs of slowing down and is gearing up to run again next year, according to members of his team, many have speculated that Haridopolos will opt for the seat once the congressman retires. Haridopolos still has popular name recognition in the district and has been seen on Fox News and other national news outlets. Much of the district Posey represents parallels the area Haridopolos represented in the Senate.

If he does run for Congress, Haridopolos has a healthy war chest already assembled from his U.S. Senate bid. With $1.3 million in the bank, he has a leg up on any potential Republican rivals.

Haridopolos is also starting to get active in legislative contests. Sources told Sunshine State News this week that Haridopolos will help state Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, fundraise as he runs for the Senate seat currently held by term-limited Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, in 2018.

First elected to the Florida House in 2000 before moving over to the Senate in 2003, Haridopolos quickly got on the leadership track, eventually becoming president after the 2010 election.

He started running for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012 but abandoned his bid early on, facing major challenges as he tried to balance his campaign with his efforts to lead the Florida Senate. Eventually, the Senate president threw his support behind then-U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., whom Nelson beat in the general election.

Ed Dean, a senior editor with SSN whose talk show can be heard on radio stations across Florida, can be reached at ed@sunshinestatenews.com. Follow him on Twitter: @eddeanradio.

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