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. Marco Rubio really wants to be loved in Iowa

    Blog

    Amid the high-profile stumping this week for Joni Ernst in Iowa, Sen. Marco Rubio made sure he cast his shadow -- way, way down the ballot.

    He campaigned for a state representative in Waterloo on Wednesday. The rep, Pat Grassley, happens to be the grandson of Sen. Chuck Grassley....

  2. Cuba politics maze traps Joe Garcia, Carlos Curbelo

    Blog

    By Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

    They vowed to be different. They’d sound like a new generation of Miami politicians. They’d shift their focus away from foreign policy. They’d care more about the family down the street than the brothers 90 miles across the Florida Straits.

    Yet the Cuba politics maze trapped them anyway.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo have spent the precious last few days of their congressional campaigns dissecting an unusual Spanish-language television advertisement by Garcia that stars a prominent Cuban dissident....

  3. Jeb Bush sharpens rhetoric, taking on Obama, Clinton

    Blog

    Jeb Bush is talking tough.

    In Colorado on Wednesday he criticized Hillary Clinton. "The former secretary of state who was campaigning in Massachusetts, where she said, ‘Don't let them tell you that businesses create jobs,’ Bush told the crowd, according to Kasie Hunt of MSNBC. “The problem with America today is that not enough jobs are being created. They are created by businesses, where people's incomes rise, where they can live a life of purpose and meaning independent of government. That should be the mission.”...

  4. Florida Republicans recall 'entrepreneurial spirit' of Gary Morse

    Blog

    Reaction to the death of Gary Morse:

    Gov. Rick Scott: “Gary was a champion of Florida innovation. When molding The Villages into the one-of-a-kind community it is today, Gary demonstrated what makes our state so great - the idea that anyone can make a positive, lasting impact in the lives of generations to come. Gary’s boldness and entrepreneurial spirit is known internationally and helped define Florida as the place where anything is possible. Ann and I send our condolences to Renee, the Morse family and the entire community of The Villages today....

  5. Ads continue to link Gwen Graham to Obama, Pelosi

    Blog

    Ads continue to fly in the Southerland-Graham race. Today the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC tied to Speaker John Boehner, released these spots that continue the aim of linking Democrat Gwen Graham to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

    ...

  6. Jeb Bush fundraising mailer creates buzz in Iowa

    Blog

    The following text is from the Des Moines Register:

    Jeb Bush mailer is causing a little buzz among Iowa Republicans who are reading between the lines, looking for clues the former Florida governor is willing to run for president.

    In the 4-1/2 page fundraising letter, Bush says he's gravely concerned about the lack of leadership in Washington, and explains his plan for economic growth....

  7. Gwen Graham campaign says it has big early voting advantage

    Blog

    A week out from the election, Gwen Graham's campaign says it has an "historic" early voting advantage and field effort to defeat Rep. Steve Southerland.

    The text below is from a campaign memo:

    Early Vote started over a week ago and absentee ballots have been out for weeks, but in the Second Congressional District one thing is clear: Democrats are winning.

    So far, Democrats are winning Vote By Mail and Early Votes by 14.4%. In comparison, at this point in 2010 Democrats had just a 3.2% advantage in CD-2. In Vote by Mail returns alone, Democrats hold an 8.8% advantage. In 2010, Democrats had an advantage of only 154 votes or 0.5%....

  8. Jeb Bush in Colorado on Wednesday; Rubio to Iowa

    Blog

    Jeb Bush will be in Colorado on Wednesday for two events, including an evening rally for Senate candidate Cory Gardner, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez and others.

    Bush was recently featured in a Spanish-language ad for Gardner, who could upset incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. We were out there recently to write about the race, one of a handful that will decide which party controls the Senate....

  9. Rubio to rally with Rick Scott in Venice

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio will appear with Gov. Rick Scott at a Nov. 1 rally in Venice, the latest contribution Rubio has made to getting the Republican re-elected.

    The event begins at 11:15 a.m., according to organizers, at the Center for Surgical Excellence, 8421 Pointe Loop Dr.

    The Sarasota GOP has landed a number of big names. On Oct. 28, Gov. Bobby Jindal will headline a rally. Jeb Bush will attend an event Nov. 3 with Adam Putnam....

  10. Southerland's new ad plays off ISIS and Ebola

    Blog

    Rep. Steve Southerland already used ISIS in a TV ad and now he's upped the ante with some Ebola. His new ad basically says that Democrats, including rival Gwen Graham, can't be trusted to keep people safe.

    Graham saw the need to respond to the first ad, and she said President Obama had been slow to respond....

  11. Rubio and Bush cross paths in Miami

    Blog

    They have been circling each other on the campaign trail for months, the hungry youngster and his mentor. Today Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush crossed paths at the Biltmore, to raise money for Gov. Rick Scott. Was there tension, death stares, smack talk?

    "One big happy family," reports Ana Navarro. Naturally both camps are keeping a close eye on each other. Rubio's folks are still pretty sure Bush will not run for president, clearing the way. As Rubio hits early primary states -- he's been to New Hampshire twice this month, South Carolina and will soon go to Iowa -- he should be concerned about Florida. If Charlie Crist beats Scott, Rubio's path would be a bit harder....

    Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and Jeb Bush
  12. Perspective: The Colorado pot experiment (w/video)

    Perspective

    DENVER — Drive around here for a few days and you can't shake it: Is the smell real or in my head?

    Get within 20 yards of one of the hundreds of marijuana dispensaries or warehouses where the stuff is grown and there's nothing imaginary. Heady vapors are sweeping through the Mile High City.

    Inside the shops, which outnumber Starbucks, comically named varieties are lined up in glass jars. Green Crack. Super Skunk. AK-47. Golden Goat. Trainwreck. But the action is with cannabis-infused "edibles" — chocolate bars, cookies, sodas and gummy bears that pack a longer, all-over-body buzz....

    Different marijuana strains for sale at Cannabis Station in downtown Denver.
  13. Bill Clinton to rally for Gwen Graham

    Blog

    Bill Clinton will appear at a rally for Gwen Graham on Oct. 26 in Tallahassee, adding star power to neck-and-neck race with incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Southerland.

    The event will be held at Florida A&M Quad and lands in the only Sunday of early voting -- the "souls to the polls" day that could drive a critical African American vote. Admission is free and doors will open at noon, according to the campaign....

  14. Rubio campaigns in South Carolina

    Blog

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida gave what sounded a lot like a speech from a presidential candidate during a visit with South Carolina Republicans on Wednesday.

    Rubio told reporters afterward that he hasn't made any plans for re-election or a presidential run in 2016. But in his 20-minute speech in the state that will cast the first presidential primary ballots in the South, he only briefly mentioned the GOP's candidates, spending most of his time outlining his conservative, populist vision to improve America....

  15. Video highlights of the final Rick Scott-Charlie Crist debate

    Blog

    Video clips from the CNN debate:

    ...