John McCain will venture into the Everglades for the first time as a presidential candidate Friday, an obligatory rite of passage for politicians shoring up their environmental credentials in a crucial state.
But the Arizona senator opposed spending $2 billion on restoring the national park, siding with President Bush against Florida's political establishment -- including top Republican supporters Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez.
It took seven years after the state and federal governments closed a sweeping Everglades cleanup deal for Congress to authorize spending in 2007.
McCain was campaigning and missed the vote, but he later urged his colleagues to let Bush's veto of the measure stand.
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