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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. Bush and Rubio hit the trail in South Carolina today


    Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio head to South Carolina today to start the next battle.

    Bush begins the day with a rally in Hilton Head, then had a town halls in Mount Pleasant and Murrells Inlet. Thursday Bush has a meet and greets in Florence and Sumter and an evening town hall in Columbia. Friday Bush has a meet and greet in Anderson and attends the Family Policy Forum in Greenville. Saturday he participates in the GOP debate....

  2. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders take New Hampshire, with Jeb Bush fourth

    State Roundup


    Donald Trump stormed back into the national spotlight by winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday and Democrat Bernie Sanders avenged his narrow Iowa loss to Hillary Clinton.

    The decisive victories came at 8 p.m., right when polls closed, kicking off wild celebrations that displayed the anti-establishment mood of the 2016 election and, for now, put two unlikely candidates in command....

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, pause for a photograph while thanking supporters Tuesday outside a polling place in Manchester, N.H.
  3. Donald Trump wins NH, but Jeb Bush has strong night


    MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Donald Trump stormed back into the national spotlight by winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday and Democrat Bernie Sanders avenged his narrow Iowa loss to Hillary Clinton.

    The decisive victories came at 8 p.m., right when polls closed, kicking off wild celebrations that displayed the anti-establishment mood of the 2016 election and, for now, put two unlikely candidates in command....

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush's addresses his supporters at his election night party at Manchester Community College.
  4. Rubio's poor New Hampshire finish blunts his momentum


    Santorum started it. Christie kicked the door wide open. And the voters of New Hampshire finished the job.

    Tuesday was a momentum killer for Marco Rubio, who finished fifth behind Jeb Bush and others. Rubio will move on to South Carolina but no longer has a claim as the establishment candidate to beat. Bush has a strong footing in South Carolina and he and his team are suddenly energized, eager to dispatch Rubio for good....

    A Rubio-bot in the snow after a tussle Tuesday with Rubio supporters
  5. Jeb Bush and Marco TV spending: $124 million


    In what has become a familiar story, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio lead all Republicans on TV spending in South Carolina. The Floridians also led in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Bush and his Right to Rise super PAC have already spent $10.3 million ads in South Carolina, according to NBC News, which relies on data from SMG Delta. Rubio and his super PAC and dark money group have spent $9.4 million....

  6. Can Jeb Bush's ground game deliver?


    Hundreds of Florida supporters of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush spent the last few days in New Hampshire staffing events, making phone calls and knocking on their doors. With more than 20 percent of voters saying they could change their mind today, the ground game is critical.

    And Bush seems to have an advantage. No other Republican has reached out to voters more, according to Monmouth University polling data. Thirty-one percent of likely GOP voters say they had been contact by the Bush campaign. For Rubio, it was 22 percent....

    A Rubio badge as worn by Adam Hasner in Bedford, N.H.
  7. Marco Rubio: 'It's great to be targeted'


    Marco Rubio, appearing on Good Morning America, portrayed the shots coming at him from all sides as a sign of strength. "It's great to be targeted because it means you're doing something right."

    Rubio denied opponents have gotten inside his head. Last night he repeated another line right after saying it, amplifying "Rubio-bot" attacks. Liberals trolled Rubio on Tuesday leading to a confrontation outside a polling location....

  8. Hillary Clinton to campaign in Palm Beach County on Feb. 15


    Hillary Clinton will campaign in Palm Beach County on Feb. 15.

    Her campaign said she "will lay out the case for why she is the only candidate who has the experience to get the job done and make a real difference in the lives of Florida families. She’ll discuss why her lifetime of experience fighting for families and getting results has prepared her to do all parts of the job of president and stop Republicans from ripping away the progress that we've made."...

  9. Rubio has another 'scripted' moment


    Just as he was trying to move past his debate performance, Marco Rubio did this at a town hall in Nashua on Monday evening.

    The speech followed a taping of an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly who pressed Rubio on whether he's too scripted.


  10. Jeb Bush shows signs of second wind ahead of New Hampshire primary

    State Roundup

    PLAISTOW, N.H. — Jeb Bush's stump speech started to take on a defensive, pleading tone in the days following his sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses last week.

    "I know I've been written off, I know the end is near, I know all that stuff," the onetime overwhelming favorite for the Republican presidential nomination told a couple of hundred people in a school cafeteria in Concord. "You know what gives me confidence? New Hampshire. … I trust you all. I've shown my heart. I've shown the depth of knowledge."...

    A street sign in Newmarket, N.H., reminds voters on Monday that the state’s presidential primary is today. A snowstorm that hit New Hampshire could last into early today, forecasters said. 
  11. Marco Rubio's run-in with a gay man


    MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A gay man confronted Marco Rubio on Monday over his opposition to same-sex marriage, an unscripted moment in a day of stagecraft from the Florida presidential candidate.

    "So Marco, being a gay man, why do you want to put me back in the closet," Timothy Kierstead asked the candidate at The Puritan Backroom.

    "I don't," Rubio said. "You can live any way you want. I just believe marriage is between one man and one woman."...

    Timothy Kierstead, second from left, confronted Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday over Rubio's opposition to same-sex marriage. Kierstead and Rubio were at The Puritan Backroom, a restaurant in Manchester, N.H.
  12. Jeb Bush calls for overturning 'Citizens United' decision that unleashed super PACs


    NASHUA, N.H. – Jeb Bush advocated for an overturn of the Citizen United decision that unleashed the super PAC era.

    “I would turn that on its head if I could,” Bush said in response to a man’s question at the Rotary Club of Nashua. “I think campaigns ought to be personally accountable and responsible for the money they receive.

    But Bush did not call for limits on how much could be given – something watchdog groups say is needed....

  13. Jeb Bush warns 'something is going to happen' and makes case for 'steady leader'


    NASHUA, N.H. - Jeb Bush began his final appeal to New Hampshire voters on Monday, urging them to go with a "steady leader" over some of his less experienced, more combative rivals.

    "I can promise you it will happen in the next presidency -- there will be a conflict, there will be an attack, there might be an outbreak of a disease. Something is going to happen. ...  9/11 is an example of that," Bush said before the Rotary Club of Nashua....

    Jeb Bush greets a woman after a speech before The Rotary Club of Nashua on Feb. 8, 2016.
  14. Marco Rubio's debate oops threatens to shift momentum of race


    SALEM, N.H. — We've heard Donald Trump swear, insult and offend. We've winced as Jeb Bush flailed during debates. We've wondered on occasion whether Ben Carson was fully awake.

    But Marco Rubio gave us the first real oops moment of the 2016 race Saturday night.

    "Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Florida's junior senator said after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused him of constantly using the same scripted lines in the debate....

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., used the same line about President Barack Obama four times during Saturday’s Republican presidential primary debate in Manchester, N.H. “It seemed very overrehearsed, overmanaged,” said Terri Tiedt, 53, a New Hampshire voter.
  15. Rubio debate performance: 'Cringe-worthy' or no big deal


    BEDFORD, N.H. – The Christie-Rubio showdown was the talk of a middle school cafeteria here before the candidate showed up to a crowd of hundreds.

    Steve Poschmann, Bedford, 50, intends to vote for Rubio

    “It was a little cringe-worthy how he repeated the same lines over and over again how Obama is deliberately destroying the country. He should have laid off those and gone after Christie. I’m not sure why he didn’t. He’s not even running against Obama. Will it hurt? It depends how much the video gets out there.”...

    Marco Rubio and family on stage in Bedford