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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. Jeb Bush way behind in Iowa, new poll shows

    Blog

    The following is a Quinnipiac University news release:

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the top dog with a big early lead in the Iowa Republican Caucus, with a four-way scramble for second place and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in seventh place with 5 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    Walker is at 21 percent of likely GOP caucus participants, compared to 25 percent in a February 25 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University....

  2. Ron DeSantis has the resume but can he win?

    Blog

    Two years ago, just a couple months into his rookie term, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis said he had no higher plan.

    “Guys who come here and try to plan how they are going to, kind of, advance up the ladder — that is not really me,” the Republican from Ponte Vedra Beach told the Hill newspaper. “That is not saying that I would never do anything or that I could not do something. But when you start doing that, you start making decision based on these hypothetical things in the future.”...

    Ron DeSantis on Fox News in 2012
  3. Jeff Miller getting close to Senate run; Ron DeSantis to jump in Wednesday

    Blog

    Rep. Jeff Miller is readying a run for U.S. Senate and will give a speech tomorrow morning to the Palm Beach Republican Club.

    Miller isn't expected to make an announcement but his appearance is a strong clue of his intentions. The North Florida resident isn't terribly well-known but is respected among fellow Republicans and he's had a high-profile post as chairman of the House VA committee....

  4. Gov. Scott in D.C. on Wednesday to argue for hospital funding

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott will meet Wednesday in Washington with HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell as he attempts to get federal health care funding for low-income residents.

    The meeting comes not long after Scott filed a lawsuit arguing it is illegal for the federal government to tie Low Income Pool funding with an expansion of Medicaid, which Scott once supported but now opposes....

  5. Poll backs Rubio's emphasis on national security

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio’s focus on national security and foreign policy — he’ll give his first speech as a candidate next Wednesday in New York — comes as Americans are increasingly concerned about turmoil overseas.

    The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that voters consider national security and terrorism the second highest concern behind job creation and economic growth....

  6. 'Les habla Jeb Bush'

    Blog

    Jeb Bush continues to make an effort to reach Hispanic voters, with the release of a video today in which he speaks entirely in Spanish.

    "Here in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has become a day where we celebrate our ties with México and the great contributions of the Mexican-American community in the U.S.,” Bush says in the video. “Happy Cinco de Mayo to all.”

    Bush met his wife, Columba, in Mexico....

  7. Former Florida Senate president to sit on Huckabee finance team

    Blog

    Former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos will be on Mike Huckabee’s national finance team, continuing a relationship that began in 2008 when Haridopolos co-chaired Huckabee’s Florida effort.

    “Even though I’m fortunate to have a relationship with both Jeb and Marco, I felt personally it was such a strong bond (with Huckabee) that I wanted to help him,” Haridopolos said in a telephone interview Monday from Hope, Arkansas, where Huckabee will formally enter the race this morning....

  8. Bush leads in new poll but Rubio rising

    Blog

    A new WSJ/NBC news poll finds Jeb Bush leading among GOP primary voters but Marco Rubio is climbing.

    Bush got support from 23 percent of voters. Rubio got 18 percent. Scott Walker 14 percent. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz both got 11 percent.

    Writes the Journal: "Nearly three quarters of GOP primary voters said they could see themselves supporting him, even if he wasn’t their first choice, a larger share than claimed by any rival. ... When Republicans were asked whether they could see themselves supporting each of the top GOP contenders, 74% said yes to Mr. Rubio—more than Mr. Bush, with 70%, and all the other declared and potential contenders. That is up from the 56% who said they could see themselves supporting Mr. Rubio in March."...

  9. DSCC endorses Patrick Murphy for Senate, but Alan Grayson says he's 'probably going to run'

    Blog

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday endorsed Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate.

    “Patrick Murphy is one of our party’s most promising rising stars, and his track record of fighting for Florida’s working families, seniors, and the environment make him the strongest candidate to win the Florida Senate race and flip this seat," said Sen. Jon Tester, who chairs the DSCC. "During his time in the House, Patrick has stepped up to protect the Florida Everglades, voted down extreme proposals that would harm Medicare, voted to protect Social Security and fought to ensure that working families are given a fair chance to get ahead. I am confident that Patrick will continue working hard for all Floridians following his successful election to the Senate and we are proud to support his campaign."...

  10. Florida resident Ben Carson to formally announce presidential bid today

    Blog

    Ben Carson of West Palm Beach said Sunday he is running for president and will hold an official event in Detroit, his home town, later Monday.

    “I’m willing to be part of the equation and therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America,” Carson told a CBS affiliate.

    Carson has gained notice from grassroots conservatives but is still considered a lower-tier candidate. His announcement comes in the same week two other Republican candidates will announce: Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee.

    Huckabee also now lives in Florida, in the panhandle. Attention remains on the true Floridians: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio....

  11. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of May 4

    Blog

    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of May 4:

    Rubio is in Washington on Monday and Tuesday. He then begins a fundraising trip to Arizona and Washington state.

    Bush is fundraising in New York and Chicago and then on Saturday he delivers a commencement address at Liberty University’. That’s where Ted Cruz announced his campaign.

    Note: This is the 11th installment of the "What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to" listing. Previous blog here....

  12. Jeb Bush seeks authenticity by standing ground on key issues

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — Like many conservatives, Gayle Trotter disagrees with Jeb Bush on a range of issues, but as she listened to him Thursday, something happened.I had never seen him speak live before and was surprised how much he personally appealed to me," Trotter, 43, said after Bush finished remarks at a National Review forum at the opulent Willard Hotel.

    "I have new respect for him, for his presentation and the way he was able to engage the questions," added Trotter, a prominent lawyer in Washington....

    Jeb Bush participates in the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit on Thursday.
  13. Jeb Bush seeks authenticity by standing ground on key issues

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Like many conservatives, Gayle Trotter disagrees with Jeb Bush on a range of issues, but as she listened to him Thursday, something happened.

    "I had never seen him speak live before and was surprised how much he personally appealed to me," Trotter, 43, said after Bush finished remarks at a National Review forum at the opulent Willard Hotel.

    "I have new respect for him, for his presentation and the way he was able to engage the questions," added Trotter, a prominent lawyer in Washington....

    Republican U.S. presidential hopeful and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush participates in the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit on Thursday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
  14. In S.C., Jeb Bush and other GOP hopefuls run against Obama, terrorism

    Blog

    The following is from the Associated Press

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican presidential hopefuls eventually will have to start running against each other. But, for now, many are content to run against President Barack Obama, Iran and Middle East extremists.

    At the South Carolina Republican convention, Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, called the president's international stewardship "an unmitigated disaster. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum called Obama "weak." Rick Perry, Texas' former governor, blasted "vacillation" by the administration. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called the president "feckless" on the world stage. And Graham and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas echoed each other as they accused Obama of "leading from behind."...

  15. Columba Bush to appear at fundraiser with Jeb

    Blog

    Columba Bush is getting more comfortable with the campaign, and will appear with her husband at May 18 fundraiser in Miami that carries a very low entry fee: $25.

    Also featured: Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
     

    Fundraising notice