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. 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
  2. Perspective: The Colorado pot experiment

    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....

  3. 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....

  4. 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....

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

    Blog

    Video clips from the CNN debate:

    ...

  6. Jeb Bush says Rick Scott gets 'resultados'

    Blog

    Jeb Bush made this ad for Gov. Rick Scott. It's a carbon copy of the ad Bush did in English. Bush has shown off his Spanish in a number of ads for candidates across the country, including Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner.

  7. Ads fly in Garcia-Curbelo contest

    Blog

    A flurry of ads in Florida's 26th Congressional District:

    From the NRCC:

    And from the DCCC:

  8. Boehner-backed Super PAC dropping $600k in Southerland-Graham race

    Blog

    Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC with ties to Speaker John Boehner, is going to spend $600,000 in the Steve Southerland-Gwen Graham race. Its first salvo, to be made public later today, is this ad playing off President Obama’s comment that his policies are on the ballot.

    The group's foray comes at a critical time in the race, a neck-and-neck battle that has attracted a growing mountain of outside spending. Congressional Leadership Fund is affiliated with the American Action Network and the ad campaign will run through Election Day. The ad below will also featured online, as a 15-second spot....

  9. Southerland's new ad features his wife, daughters, sister and mother

    Blog

    Rep. Steve Southerland brings out the big guns in his latest ad: His wife, daughters, sister and mother.

    The ad is intended to shore up support among women voters and address criticism from Democrats that he hasn't been friendly on issues facing women.

    Tomorrow, Southerland will get help from Sen. Marco Rubio, who will drop by the Tallahassee campaign office in the afternoon.

    ...

  10. Outside money pours into two hot congressional races

    Blog

    Outside spending has reached $10 million in two of Florida's competitive U.S. House races, continuing a trend that has seen more than $200 million since the 2010 Citizens United decision.

    Outside spending in FL 26
  11. Graham campaign: We could get killed on TV

    Blog

    Voters could see as many as six times as many ads against Democrat Gwen Graham than for her in the final days of the election, the Graham campaign warned in a memo today.

    "To be absolutely precise about the cable disparity we face, starting today through Election Day November 4th:

    "In the Tallahassee media market – Democratic cable spending currently totals $17,027, while Republican cable spending is $161,652. In the Panama City media market – Democratic cable spending currently totals $28,882, while Republican cable spending is $122,906."...

  12. Common Core opponents to urge support for Rick Scott

    Blog

    Anti-Common Core activists haven't been pleased with Gov. Rick Scott's half-measures on the issue but are throwing their support behind him against Charlie Crist.

    "In 2009 Charlie Crist took us into Common Core and is an ardent supporter to this day. With a win in November, it will be a no holds barred move to complete the implementation of Common Core and advance his progressive ‘Cred’ with the left. With his sights on 2016 and beyond, he will be all in with the unions and will drop teacher performance measures and return teacher tenure. Through Crist’s allegiance, we will see Arne Duncan make Florida the poster child of Common Core implementation to fly in the face of states like Indiana and Louisiana where the battle rages on.  In fact, our war will be over in Florida!" ......

  13. Bush, Rubio and Nelson have stake in Colorado Senate race

    Blog

    DENVER — Tall, handsomely rugged and sporting black cowboy boots, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is a portrait of confidence. "We're going to shock a lot of the pundits out there saying, 'Oh, we think Colorado is slipping away,' " he told supporters gathered in a parking lot before the final debate of the election.

    He bragged about a huge volunteer army and ripped Republican opponent Cory Gardner as too extreme on everything from abortion to climate change to gay marriage....

    Sen. Mark Udall decries GOP challenger Cory Gardner's record on reproductive rights -- one of Udall's key campaign issues -- at a rally in Denver before the final televised debate Wednesday.
  14. In Colorado, fight for U.S. Senate shows Obama factor in midterms

    National

    DENVER — Tall, handsomely rugged and sporting black cowboy boots, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is a portrait of confidence. "We're going to shock a lot of the pundits out there saying, 'Oh, we think Colorado is slipping away,' " he told supporters gathered in a parking lot before the final debate of the election.

    He bragged about a huge volunteer army and ripped Republican opponent Cory Gardner as too extreme on everything from abortion to climate change to gay marriage. Yet, as the bluegrass band started up and the candidate charged off to debate Wednesday evening, there was a nagging feeling in the crowd, disbelief that it had come to this: The Democrat, who began 2014 looking like he would walk to a second term, is struggling....

    Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado.
  15. Congratulations, Jeb Bush, you're being tracked

    Blog

    Oppo researchers aren't waiting for Jeb Bush to decide whether he's running. After appearing at an event Monday for Terri Lynn Land, who is running for Senate in Michigan, Bush was approached a Democratic activist who asked him if the candidate should support the Paycheck Fairness Act....