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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement.

Alex is a graduate of Ithaca College (journalism/anthropology) and began his career at the Valley News in New Hampshire. Alex was born in La Crosse, Wis., and raised in upstate New York along with six brothers and sisters. He lives in Washington.

Phone: (202) 306-4807


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Alan Grayson fails to file FEC form


    Alan Grayson failed to file a statement of candidacy for his U.S. Senate bid, the FEC website shows....

  2. Rubio and Bush: Clinton wrong on Cuba


    Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush react to Hillary Clinton's planned speech Friday calling for an end of the Cuban embargo.

    Rubio: "After Secretary Clinton's failed 'reset' with Putin, now she wants to do a 'reset' with Castro. She is making another grave mistake. Unilateral concessions to the Castros will only strengthen a brutal, anti-American regime 90 miles from our shore. President Obama and Secretary Clinton must learn that appeasement only emboldens dictators and repressive governments, and weakens America's global standing in the 21st century. As president, I will stand with the Cuban people and only support an end to the embargo that is accompanied by real democratic reform."...

  3. UPDATE: Hillary Clinton to call for lifting Cuban embargo Friday in FIU speech


    Hillary Clinton will call for an end of the trade embargo with Cuba during a speech Friday in Miami, home to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, two of her Republican rivals in the race for president who oppose to the diplomatic thaw under way.

    The Democrat, her campaign said Wednesday, “will highlight that Republican arguments against increased engagement are part of failed policies of the past and contend that the U.S. must look to the future in order to advance a core set of values and interests to engage with Cubans and address human rights abuses.”...

  4. Priebus to address National Urban League today in Fort Lauderdale


    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will address the National Urban League's leadership during a luncheon today.

    He will discuss the GOP's "ongoing efforts to engage black voters, including the #CommittedToCommunity: Engage, Empower, Uplift campaign," according to a relase.

    The 12:15 p.m. event in Fort Lauderale is not open to reporters, the RNC said.

  5. Florida's Mike Fernandez top donor to Bush Super PAC


    Miami billionaire Mike Fernandez gave $3 million to the Right to Rise Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush, the top donor for the juggernaut committee.

    “I don’t want to be an ambassador to anywhere,” he told the Wall Street Journal, which this evening reported details of the Super PAC filing due Friday with the FEC....

  6. Steve Southerland rules out another run for Congress


    Steve Southerland won't try to return to Congress, ruling out today what was already a small chance he would run again.

    "It is after great thought and prayerful consideration that I've decided not to be a candidate for Congress in 2016," the Republican from Panama City said. "I've been blessed with the support of Susan and our daughters throughout this process, and we appreciate the words of encouragement we've received from so many people across North and Northwest Florida. I believe it's time for someone else to have the opportunity to serve. I look forward to doing my part to ensure our nominee returns Florida's Second Congressional District to Republican hands in 2016."...

  7. Huckabee responds to Bush: 'I take nothing back'


    A day after Jeb Bush scolded Mike Huckabee for likening the Iran deal to the Holocaust, Huckabee punched back on Fox News and declared: "I take nothing back."

    "You don’t tone down the rhetoric when people are threatening a country off the face of the map,” Huckabee said on The Dispatch....

  8. Kathy Castor files bill to lift economic embargo with Cuba


    U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and a Republican colleague filed a bill today to lift the Cuban embargo, with the condition that taxpayer funds could not be used on promotion or development of the new markets.

    The move is the latest in a pro-Cuba profile the Tampa Democrat has built as diplomatic ties are reestablished with the island country.

    The Cuba Trade Act of 2015 (HR3238 was filed with Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. It'll face opposition and not just from South Florida's Cuban-American lawmakers....

  9. Scott Walker can't seem to decide on Florida primary


    Real Clear Politics is reporting that Scott Walker has told donors he will not compete in the Florida primary, going against what he told us earlier this year and a return to a posture he appeared to hold before that.

    From the report: During a fundraiser at the St. Louis home of Rex Sinquefield, Missouri’s most active Republican donor, Walker reasoned that it “doesn't make a ton of sense for him to pour cash into Florida” with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in the race, said one person who was present for Walker’s remarks....

  10. Trump still crushing Bush, Rubio in New Hampshire


    Donald Trump has a major lead in New Hampshire, a new poll shows, beating second place finisher Jeb Bush 24 percent to 12 percent.

    Trump has gotten widespread coverage and hasn't yet showed signs of a slow down. The Monmouth University Poll of likely GOP voters finds John Kasich tied for third with Scott Walker at 7 percent. Marco Rubio comes in next with 6 percent followed by Ben Carson and Rand Paul, each who get 5 percent of the vote. Another 14% of likely primary voters are undecided....

  11. Betty Sembler, anti-drug crusader, honored on U.S. House floor


    Rep. David Jolly took to the House floor today to honor Betty Sembler, who on July 23 stepped down as founder and chair of Drug Free America Foundation. Sembler and her husband, Mel, have long been associated with the anti-drug movement in the U.S. The new chair is Jim Holton....

  12. Outside group spends big on Marco Rubio ahead of first debate


    A political group that does not disclose its donors has put Marco Rubio in the lead of early TV advertising, spending $2.6 million already in advance of next week’s GOP debate.

    Conservative Solutions Project’s ads have focused on the Iran deal, producing spots before it was announced and on the day. “July 14th, 2015 – Barack Obama makes a deal giving Iran a clear path to a nuclear bomb,” a narrator says. “Congress can stop it. Marco Rubio is leading the fight.”...

  13. Bush criticizes Huckabee's Holocaust reference; Rubio declines comment


    Reporters on Monday asked Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio about Mike Huckabee saying President Obama’s deal with Iran is marching Israelis to “the door of the oven.”

    Bush, in Orlando, said: “The use of that kind of language, it’s just wrong. This is not the way we’re going to win elections.”...

  14. Rubio, Bush to compete for Koch brothers' support


    Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush will compete for the support of the Koch brothers next week in South California.

    Politico reports that the Floridians will be joined by Ted Cruz and Scott Walker. The gathering is being hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and many top donors will be on hand. The event is Aug 1-3....

  15. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of July 27


    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of July 27.

    Rubio is in South Carolina today and will file “First-in-the-South” presidential primary papers in Columbia. This evening he’ll have an event at a brewery in Greenville then attend a rally at a Crossfit center. On Tuesday morning, Rubio will hold a national security forum in Greenville. He is back in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday....