Republican George LeMieux has officially ended his campaign to earn his party's nomination for the Senate in Florida. In a video message to supporters Tuesday, LeMieux thanked everyone for supporting his candidacy. Rep. Connie Mack IV now becomes the favorite to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
* LeMieux says in the video, "The decision has been made by party leadership that there's a better candidate to face Bill Nelson. The establishment has thrown their support behind my competitor Connie Mack."
* LeMieux says his campaign's finances cannot support large amounts of advertising as compared to Mack's. He then said Mack won't agree to debates on television, which won't cost LeMieux anything. The underdog then threw his support behind his former rival.
* The Orlando Sentinel reports the move paves the way for Mack to win the statewide primary election Aug. 14. The presumptive nominee has a huge lead in finances, public opinion polls and has huge name recognition.
* Mack's campaign released a statement thanking LeMieux for his support. "We welcome the latest statement from George LeMieux and agree that the internal fight among Republicans would not have been helpful in our shared commitment to defeat Bill Nelson. I welcome and thank George for his decision to support my campaign."
* Mack refused to take part in any debates planned for this summer. Organizers had little choice but to cancel them.
* LeMieux's campaign lasted more than a year. The lawyer served as a top adviser to former governor of Florida Charlie Crist before being appointed to fill a vacant Senate seat for 16 months. Crist failed to win a Senate seat running as an independent against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in 2010.
* The Palm Beach Post reports four other candidates remain in the Republican race. Mike McCalister is a tea party favorite and former Rep. Dave Wheldon is also in the primary election.
* Mack's reason for not participating in any debates came last week. He claimed partisan debates would only give Nelson an advantage in the general election.
* Mack has picked up key endorsements from former Gov. Jeb Bush and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Florida is considered a battleground state in the presidential election with 29 electoral votes.
* Recent polls favor Mack by a wide margin. In a Public Policy Polling release June 7, Mack led LeMieux by 34 to 13 percent. McCalister earned 10 percent while Wheldon, a relative newcomer, had six percent. Nelson leads Mack in a head-to-head matchup at 49 percent to 36 percent.
* Mack is the son of the former Senator and represents decades of Republican leadership in Florida. The front-runner's great-grandfather and namesake was a baseball legend.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics. Born in St. Louis, Browning is active in local politics and served as a campaign volunteer for President Barack Obama and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.