The Republican Senatorial primary to pick a candidate (tomorrow!) to run for retiring Bob Graham's seat is taking on a certain Vernon Robinson/Virginia Foxx air. El Presidente's handpicked candidate for the job, Mel Martinez, a former Bush cabinet member, has viciously attacked one of his six opponents in the race, former congressman Bill McCollum, as "the new darling of the homosexual extremists" because he supported a hate crime bill that included protection of gays.
So nasty have Martinez's ads become that the St. Petersburg Times rescinded its endorsement of Martinez. In an editorial published today, the newspaper said it took the unusual step of withdrawing an endorsement because Martrinez "took his campaign into the gutter with hateful and dishonest attacks" over McCollum's support of a hate crimes bill and expanded embryonic stem cell research.
"The Times is not willing to be associated with bigotry," the editorial said. (Coverage here from the Raleigh N&O.)