ORLANDO–The top leading candidates for the GOP nomination for the United States Senate met for the first in what will be many debates leading up to the 2012 primary election.
The winner of the Republican primary will face longtime incumbent US Senator Bill Nelson for the seat in November of 2012.
Candidates; Colonel Mike McCalister, Adam Hasner, George LaMieux and Craig Miller debated the issues at a local Orlando school for several hours.
According to my observers, Colonel McCalister made a positive impression among the conservative, Christian-based crowd.
Following the debate, a Miami Herald reporter accused Col. McCalister of not telling the truth about an appearance before a congressional panel. McCalister offered this response to the Phoenix News Network: “When serving at the United Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa, I had the opportunity to accompany the Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General (LTG) W. P. Tangney, as the Subject Matter Expert to a congressional hearing. The Army, like all other branches of the military, work as a team. I sat under the bright Capitol lights with General Tangney, who relied upon my research and counsel to give accurate testimony to Congress. In fact, as my Senior Rater, LTG Tangney wrote in my April 2002 Officer Evaluation Report (OER) that I ‘led the USSOCOM team at congressional hearing on military readiness, assisting [LTG Tangney] greatly in the testimony…” “Because of the high visibility study, [McCalister] was tasked with serving as subject matter expert for U.S. congressional testimony on Military Readiness and National Security.”
McCalister has served in the Army National Guard, Army Reserves, and on Active Duty for a total of 33 years between 1971 and 2005.