Make us your home page

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. Marco Rubio confirms April 13 announcement in Miami

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio will announce his presidential intentions April 13 in Miami, using an appearance Monday afternoon on Fox News to build suspense for a decision that he has been working toward for quite a while.

    Rubio, 43, would not say he is running for president, though that seems blatantly obvious, or name the location. "We haven't reserved a specific site yet … but I will announce on April 13 what I am going to do next in terms of running for president or the U.S. Senate."...

  2. Rubio confirms April 13 announcement


    Sen. Marco Rubio announced just now on Fox News that he will announce his presidential decision on April 13.

    Rubio would not say he is running for president -- clearly, he is -- or name the exact location. "We haven't reserved a specific site yet ... but I will announce on April 13 what I am going to do next in terms of running for president or the U.S. Senate."

    As the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday, Rubio is looking at the Freedom Tower in Miami. He also pointed viewers to his website, which teased a "big announcement" and asked them to signup for tickets....

    A screenshot of Marco Rubio's website
  3. Americans for Prosperity goes after Gardiner on Medicaid expansion


    The Florida branch of Americans for Prosperity is targeting Senate President Andy Gardiner over his openness to exploring Medicaid expansion in Florida.

    The group, backed by the Koch brothers, said it is "launching a major grassroots and mail effort to educate Floridians about which state senators are supporting Medicaid expansion."...

    Mailer from AFP
  4. Jeb Bush leads national poll


    Jeb Bush is the top choice among Republicans nationally, according to a new CBS News poll.

    Fifty-one percent of Republicans said they would consider voting for Bush, followed by Mike Huckabee with 42 percent and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio each with 39 percent. Ted Cruz got 37 percent, a big jump from the 23 percent in February.

    Scott Walker, considered the top competitor to Bush at the moment, came in at 35 percent but his support has been growing....

    CBS News poll
  5. DC official: Rubio using gun bill to tout 'ultra conservative' cred


    The District of Columbia's voice in Congress continued Monday to press back against a bill Sen. Marco Rubio filed last week to ease gun laws in the capital city.

    Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton "challenged" Rubio and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to "travel in their own lane" and introduce legislation that would allow guns in post offices, Social Security offices and other federal buildings in their home states....

  6. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of March 30


    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of March 30:

    Rubio is in New York today for fundraising and he’s also going to appear on Fox News at 5 p.m. He and his staff are also finalizing plans for his campaign announcement, which could happen April 13 in Miami.

    Bush will be fundraising most of the week in California, with stops in Newport Beach, Bel-Air and San Francisco.

    Note: This is the seventh installment of the "What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to" listing. Last week here....

  7. Martin O'Malley: Presidency 'not some crown' to be passed to Clinton or Bush


    Former Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a probable 2016 presidential candidate, made news on Sunday for taking a shot at Hillary Clinton and, by extension, Jeb Bush.

    "The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people," O Malley told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."...

  8. Jeb Bush wants small dollar donations, too


    Jeb Bush will be in California this coming week for another round of big-time fundraising, beginning with a $25,000 per couple event Monday in Newport Beach.

    But Bush, who has already taken in tens of millions since becoming an unofficial candidate in late December, is making a play for smaller dollars, too.

    On Sunday, his Right to Rise PAC sent out a solicitation, signed by Bush's mother, that sought donations as small as $25 before the March 30 end of quarter. "This deadline is the first major signal we’ll be sending to the Democrats and Hillary that we’re going to put up a fight in 2016," the email reads....

    A fundraising appeal from Jeb Bush's Right to Rise PAC.
  9. Obama golfing in Florida


    President Obama this afternoon is at Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, continuing his love affair with the sport.

    Obama will remain there overnight and return to Washington tomorrow. He was greeted at the airport by Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Jupiter Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate, and Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson. According to the White House, his golfing partners are Ahmad Rashad, Cy Walker and Alonzo Mourning....

  10. Rubio says D.C. residents need guns to achieve the American Dream


    Sen. Marco Rubio says residents of the District of Columbia need guns to achieve the American Dream, and has proposed legislation to strip local officials of the right to regulate firearms.

    “In order to achieve the American Dream, people need to be able to live in safe communities and be able to protect themselves, their families and their properties from danger. The lawful exercise of the Second Amendment is part of what makes this possible,” Rubio said in a statement announcing the Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015....

  11. Jeb doesn't read the NYT? Come on


    Jeb Bush said today he doesn't read the New York Times, a dubious statement, at best.

    Bush made the remark during a Fox News radio interview and, as expected, Twitter lit up with commentary,

    How Bush -- the former governor, policy wonk and smartest guy in the room -- could not read the most influential news source in the country suggests there are limits to his pledge not to pander....

    The formerly Old Gray Lady
  12. Poll: Medicaid expansion remains 'very popular' in Florida


    The following is from Public Policy Polling:

    Even after being narrowly reelected in November, Rick Scott continues to have a negative approval rating. 42% of voters think he's doing a good job to 46% who disapprove. Those numbers speak to Scott's victory having more to do with driving Charlie Crist's favorability numbers into the ground than to doing much to become popular in his own right. There's been some talk of a 2018 dream Senate contest between Scott and Bill Nelson- at this point Nelson leads such a hypothetical contest 47/43. Nelson has a 43/31 approval rating which makes him the state's most anonymous key politician despite having been on the scene far longer than Scott or Marco Rubio....

  13. Jeb Bush: 'Stay the course' on Gitmo


    Jeb Bush just wrapped up an interview with a Fox News radio host and said the U.S. should not close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

    The discussion began when the host asked Bush about the desertion charges facing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

    "To try to bring back someone who turns out to have been a deserter is just heartbreaking," Bush said, speaking from a cell phone on the road in Texas, while an aide in the back seat streamed the interview on Meerkat. "The president is totally focused on closing Guantanamo as an organizing principle. And it's all based on politics. It's not based on keeping us safe, which should be his first obligation. We shouldn’t be closing down Guantanamo. We shouldn’t be releasing Taliban that are openly organizing once again to attack us."...

  14. Jeb Bush leads in New Hampshire, new poll shows


    Jeb Bush leads the GOP field in New Hampshire, but Scott Walker is close behind and the field remains open, according to a new poll from Suffolk University.

    Bush got 19 percent of the votert followed by Walker with 14 percent and Rand Paul with 7 percent. Donald Trump got 6 percent, ahead of Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, both with 5 percent. Marco Rubio was down at 3 percent along with Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson....

  15. Obama headed to Florida on Saturday


    President Barack Obama will travel to Palm City on Saturday, the White House said. He has no public events ... So golf?

    The ever tight-lipped WH press office would not say. He will return to Washington on Sunday.