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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux works to build his own political brand



5828436_110975c WASHINGTON — The phone rang past 10 on a Saturday night. U.S. Sen. George LeMieux had a scoop: Florida was getting a nuclear aircraft carrier. "This is huge news," he told a reporter.

LeMieux was not at his office in Washington but had made a special trip to Jacksonville, home to Naval Station Mayport. Before the telephone call, he dropped by a local TV studio to go on camera and break the news.

LeMieux's savvy public relations play — jumping on a report to be officially released the following Monday — let him grab the attention well ahead of other Florida politicians.

Though only a temporary lawmaker, filling the final 16 months of retired Sen. Mel Martinez's term, LeMieux has been relentless in trying to generate notice, whether through news releases or Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or extensive travel.

The 40-year-old Republican says he is working hard to represent Florida and communicating in ways that reflect a changing society. But there is a clear endgame to his ubiquitous message. The part-time public official wants a full-time gig. (full story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:25pm]


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