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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux's place in history: 186




George LeMieux becomes the 186th appointed U.S. Senator since 1913, according to the Senate Historical Office. The list is dotted with caretakers.

"There is a long history people who clearly do not intend to run themselves," said Don Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office, who observes that, “When a governor makes an appointment, he makes one friend and a lot of enemies."

A recent caretaker example: Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Delaware, who took over for Vice President Joe Biden. Kaufman was Biden's longtime chief of staff and said he has no desire to run.

How come Democrats did not lash out at that? Democratic icon Sen. Ted Kennedy was the beneficiary of placeholder, too. He was to young to take over JFK's Senate seat in 1960, but no matter: The Kennedy clan got Benjamin A. Smith II to warm the seat for two years.

There is a good chance LeMieux will keep Martinez's digs at 356 Russell Senate Office Building but it is unlikely he will hold onto all of the retiring lawmaker's committee seats.

Martinez served on Armed Services (7th of 11 Republicans); Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs (5th of 10 Republicans); and Commerce, Science & Transportation (10th of 11 Republicans); and was the ranking member on the special committee on aging.

Martinez's staff is helping with the transition and have offered to stay on but no decisions have been made.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:15pm]


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