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

link
  1. Jeb Bush directs Common Core criticism to Obama

    Blog

    In a rare sit-down interview, Jeb Bush discusses foreign policy and education with the Washington Post's conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin. What stood out is his dealing with Common Core, an issue that has dogged him.

    “In the last year or year and a half there has been a stalling-out of the comprehensive reform movement,” he told Rubin....

  2. Bush tops Rubio in New Hampshire poll

    Blog

    A CNN poll released today shows Sen. Rand Paul leading the hypothetical GOP field in New Hampshire. Jeb Bush took 10 percent to Paul's 15. Marco Rubio is at 7 percent.

     

    CNN poll
  3. Rubio mixes football and politics in Buffalo

    Blog

    Politics and football have always mixed for Marco Rubio, a one time college player, and today he landed in Buffalo for a fundraiser and to watch the Dolphins take on the Bills.

    This photo was posted on Instagram by Terry Sullivan, who helps run Rubio's Reclaim American PAC. "Invading enemy territory in Buffalo @marcorubio bumps into Jim Kelly," Sullivan wrote....

    Sen. Marco Rubio and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly
  4. President Barack Obama will visit Tampa, CentCom next week

    State Roundup

    President Barack Obama will travel to Tampa next week for a briefing at U.S. Central Command as the military begins a more aggressive assault on the Islamic State group.

    Obama will fly to MacDill Air Force Base on Tuesday evening after visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for an Ebola crisis briefing, according to the White House. He will spend the night in Tampa....

  5. Obama to visit CENTCOM on Wednesday

    Blog

    President Barack Obama will travel to Tampa next week for a briefing at U.S. Central Command as the military begins a more aggressive assault on the Islamic State group.

    Obama will fly to MacDill Air Force Base on Tuesday evening after visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, according to the White House.

    He will receive a briefing Wednesday morning then make a statement to reporters....

  6. Chris Christie campaigns with Rick Scott on Friday

    Blog

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will campaign Friday with Gov. Rick Scott in Panama City and Crawfordville.

    Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, but he's also looking to run for president and welcomes the exposure in a key state. A recent poll conducted for the Tampa Bay Times showed Christie lagging behind several other potential GOP rivals, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul....

  7. Gwen Graham's work for D.C. law firm raises lobbying question

    Blog

    Rep. Steve Southerland is out with a hard-hitting new ad that levels a potent charge against Democratic rival Gwen Graham: Years ago, she was a Washington lobbyist.

    "Liberal Gwen Graham is hiding the truth," a narrator says in Southerland's new ad. "Graham was Washington lobbyist and liberal political consultant who has taken thousands of dollars from Nancy Pelosi and her special interest allies."...

    Legal analysis
  8. Sens. Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson expect long fight vs. Islamic State

    National

    WASHINGTON — Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio say the United States will be in for a long fight against the Islamic State group, a conflict that they warn could involve American troops on the ground.

    "It's going to be probably years," Nelson, a Democrat, said after President Barack Obama's speech Wednesday night. "The U.S. will probably put boots on the ground, but it will be more commando raids and forward air observers with others to do the actual strikes on the ground. But we have no choice. This is a vicious, diabolical group that must be stopped."...

    Bill Nelson
  9. Rubio: Boots on ground may be required

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio offered muted support of President Obama’s plan to take on the Islamic State group, saying in three interviews this morning that “we’re in a better place."

    Rubio also said he thinks Obama has the authority to act but said he welcomed a vote by congress. He talked about a long-term effort that could involve American troops on the ground, something other lawmakers are deeply worried about and the public may not be ready to support....

  10. Florida reaction to President Obama's speech on ISIS

    Blog

    As of 1 a.m., the three reponses below are all we got ... telling of the difficult politics.

    Sen. Bill Nelson (D): "This group will be degraded and defeated, but it’s going to be a long-term deal.  It’s going to be probably years.  The United States is putting together the coalition that will go after them.  The U.S. will probably put boots on the ground, but it will be more commando raids and forward air observers with others to do the actual strikes on the ground. But we have no choice. This is a vicious, diabolical group that must be stopped.”...

  11. As public sentiment shifts, Rubio's assertive foreign policy views more in favor

    Blog

    Not long ago Sen. Marco Rubio seemed out of step with the growing isolationism within the GOP. But fear about Islamic militants has galvanized public support, a sudden shift to the side of Rubio and others who say the U.S. must intervene overseas.

    “I think people are starting to face the reality of what happens with U.S. disengagement,” Rubio said in an interview at the Capitol on Tuesday....

  12. Frederica Wilson meets with girls who escaped Boko Haram

    Blog

    They escaped from the grasp for Boko Haram and are now getting an education in the U.S.

    Today, several Nigerian girls met with one of their strongest advocates in Washington, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami, who traveled to their homeland in June.

    “I am delighted to see these brave and wonderful young girls again," Wilson said in a statement. "They’ve experienced unspeakable horrors that no child should ever have to endure just because they want and deserve an education."...

    Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, hugs one of the girls
  13. Florida congressional delegation urges Obama to outline Syria plan in speech tonight

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — Florida lawmakers say they support increased military action against Islamic militants but want President Barack Obama tonight to clearly lay out a plan to deal with the complex and potentially explosive step of moving into Syria.

    "I'm hopeful that he will put on the table that this is an extremely dangerous group that has to be dealt with," said Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar....

  14. House passes Southerland bill to block federal oversight of wetlands

    Blog

    The U.S. House this evening passed Rep. Steve Southerland's bill that would block new federal oversight of waterways and wetlands in lieu of local control.

    The measure passed 262-152, with 35 Democrats, including Florida's Alcee Hastings, joining Republicans.

    The bill, which face resitence in the Democratic-controlled Senate, lets states decide which wetlands should be protected, a move supported by developers, farmers and the sugar industry....

  15. New poll shows Crist with small lead

    Blog

    A new poll shows Charlie Crist with a small lead over Rick Scott, 42-39. It also confirms sliding support for medical marijuana, with the measure just barely over the required 60 percent threshold.

    "This election is shaping up as a choice between two candidates voters have decided they don't care for," reads a memo from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-aligned firm. "Only 40% of voters approve of the job Scott is doing to 49% who disapprove. But they don't like Crist either- 40% of voters rate him favorably with 46% holding a negative opinion. The dissatisfaction with both major candidates probably helps to explain (libertarian Adrian) Wyllie's 8% standing but since he is drawing pretty equally from both Scott and Crist he's not having a major effect on the race in the way some Libertarians are in other states. When you take him out of the equation Crist's lead remains 3 points at 44/41....