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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

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

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  1. Steve Southerland rules out another run for Congress

    Blog

    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."...

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

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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....

  5. Trump still crushing Bush, Rubio in New Hampshire

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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.”...

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

    Blog

    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.”...

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

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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....

  11. Gwen Graham: 'My goal is to run for re-election in Florida's 2nd Congressional District.'

    Blog

    U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a rising star in Florida politics, is not rushing to plot her next move in light of a Florida Supreme Court decision that could reshape her already competitive North Florida district in a more Republican way.

    "I'm waiting like everybody else to see what maps are produced," the first-term Democrat from Tallahassee said in an interview outside the House chamber on Thursday....

  12. Rising star Graham in no hurry to jump into Senate race

    State Roundup

    U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a rising star in Florida politics, is not rushing to plot her next move in light of a Florida Supreme Court decision that could reshape her already competitive North Florida district in a more Republican way.

    "I'm waiting like everybody else to see what maps are produced," the first-term Democrat from Tallahassee said in an interview outside the House chamber on Thursday....

    “It is important for us to have a presidency that restores dignity and class to the White House,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, who has appeared three times on the Daily Show.
  13. 'It's kind of weird and there's sharks coming out of the sky'

    Blog

    Taken out of context, you'd think Jeb Bush dropped some LSD here.

  14. Jeff Miller won't decide on Senate run until after August

    Blog

    Rep. Jeff Miller says he is assembling a team would need for a U.S. Senate race but that he won’t make a final decision until after August.

    “It’s not a decision that I take lightly or can be done quickly,” the North Florida Republican told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m going through the process of assembling a team I would need in order to launch a bid, should I decide to do that.”...

  15. Jeb Bush on 'all lives matter' and political correctness

    Blog

    Jeb Bush in New Hampshire yesterday was asked about the "lives matter" flap that has swept over the Democratic field. Martin O'Malley was ripped for saying "all lives matter" when asked about the "black lives matter" mantra.

    Come on, Bush said, O'Malley doesn't have to apologize. The video was circulated by the liberal oppo group American Bridge.

    ...