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Bill McCollum Goes to Bat for Dennis Baxley

Former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, now looking at a third run at the U.S. Senate, will be hitting the campaign trail later this week to support an old ally.

McCollum told the Tampa Bay Times two weeks ago that he is considering running again for the Senate. After 20 years in Congress, McCollum won the Republican Senate nomination in 2000 but lost to Democrat Bill Nelson in the race for an open seat. In 2004, McCollum ran again but lost to former U.S. HUD Secretary Mel Martinez in the Republican primary.

After his two Senate bids, McCollum ran for attorney general, winning the post in the 2006 election cycle. Four years later, McCollum lost the Republican gubernatorial primary to Rick Scott. After losing to Scott, McCollum refused to endorse his fellow Republican who was in a close race against then-state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee.

Since losing to Scott, McCollum has remained politically active. In 2012, he backed former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., for the Republican presidential nomination. Four years after their bitter primary, McCollum endorsed Scott for a second term.

In 2010, when he filed his paperwork in Tallahassee to run for governor, McCollum had Dennis Baxley, a former state representative from Ocala, looking to return to the Florida House with him. Baxley returned to the House in 2010 and is now running for the Florida Senate seat currently held by the term-limited Sen. Charles Dean, R-Inverness.

On Monday, Baxleys campaign announced it would be holding a fundraiser with McCollum in Ocala on Saturday.

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