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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. Rubio in Nevada: Get rid of the federal Education Department


    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio says the U.S. doesn't need a federal Education Department, arguing that its recommendations to state and local governments often turn into mandates tied to money.

    The Florida senator made the comments Tuesday during a town hall meeting in Carson City. About 200 people attended the gathering in a community center, part of a tour of northern Nevada....

  2. David Jolly adds to support in Tampa Bay


    David Jolly is moving to lock down support in vital Tampa Bay as he faces a tough GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Today, Jolly announced the endorsement of his third area lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor.

    “As a Tampa Bay native, David is keenly aware of the issues facing Floridians at both the local and national levels," Bilirakis said. "His command of the legislative process and institutional knowledge will no doubt serve as a benefit to the people of Florida, especially our Veterans. I look forward to fostering an even stronger Tampa Bay leadership presence in Congress with a great partner and friend in the U.S. Senate.”...

  3. Marco Rubio's ice cream run with Chris Christie, Mitt Romney


    Chris Christie shares a lighter moment from his recent sleep-over at Mitt Romney's with Marco Rubio.

  4. Hope 3.0: Jeb Bush 'fired up' but not angry


    A Fox News host this morning asked Jeb Bush if he has fire in the belly:

    “I’m fired up about this and I’m excited about it. But I’m not going to run a campaign based on angst; I’m going to run a campaign based on hope. Because this still is the greatest country on the face on the earth. And we just need to start acting like it again.”

    More from the Fox interview:...

  5. Ron DeSantis seeks to inject Iran deal into U.S. Senate race


    Coming to a U.S. Senate debate stage: The Iran nuclear deal, good or bad?

    Yesterday, Democrat Patrick Murphy announced his support for the “flawed” deal and portrayed it as a way to stop war. Ron DeSantis, one of a handful of Republicans running for the nomination, went after Murphy today....

  6. Jeb Bush wants you to know 'the real Donald Trump'


    Jeb Bush continues to punch back at Donald Trump, and this morning released a video compilation of things Trump has said in the past about abortion and Hillary Clinton.

    So far, Bush's counter effort hasn't shown much results. But as Trump's No. 1 target, Bush has reasoned he has no other choice. His campaign called out rivals. "Jeb takes on Trump as the rest of the Unintimidated™ field cowers," a staffer wrote on Twitter....

  7. Clinton emails show interest in Florida


    The State Department kept tabs on U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek when he made a trip to Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake, according to Hillary Clinton emails released late Monday.

    “Planning on going out with S. Florida search and response teams,” a State Department official wrote to colleagues on Jan. 17, 2010. The message made its way to Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top aide, who shared it with her boss with a simple “Fyi.”...

    Tracking Kendrick Meek
  8. Patrick Murphy comes out in support of Iran nuclear deal


    U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy says he can back the Iran nuclear deal, call it "flawed" but "the best available option to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon."

    Murphy is running for U.S. Senate and his Democratic primary rival, Rep. Alan Grayson, has not said if he can support the deal. A number of other Florida Democrats remain undecided, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Sen. Bill Nelson is on board with the Obama administration....

  9. Jeb Bush faces distorted attacks from Walker, Trump


    The campaigns of Scott Walker and Donald Trump released videos today that attack Jeb Bush on the Iran deal and immigration. But both are distortions of Bush's position.

    Walker's video implies Bush favors the Iran nuclear deal. Bush does not, but he's shown caution (at times) about how quickly it could be unraveled by the next president. Walker is shown in the video saying he would kill it on "Day One," which is thename of the ad....

  10. Ben Carson makes move in Iowa; Bush and Rubio remain in middle of pack


    Donald Trump continues to lead in Iowa, but Ben Carson, who now lives in West Palm Beach, is moving up and is five percentage points from the boisterous New York celebrity developer, according to a new poll.

    The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll has Trump with 23 percent support and Carson with 18....

  11. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of Aug. 31


    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of Aug. 31.

    Rubio starts a two-day visit to Nevada on Monday with a rally in Reno. On Tuesday he has events in Carson City, Terington and Fallon. Wednesday he is in Oklahoma City. Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rubio heads to Puerto Rico on Friday. It will be Rubio's first visit to P.R. as a candidate and it coincides with a trip there by Hillary Clinton....

  12. Bill Nelson 'concerned' with how Clinton campaign handling email controversy; says Biden won't run


    Sen. Bill Nelson added to criticism among Democrats of Hillary Clinton's handling of the email controversy, telling a crowd in West Palm Beach today that he is "concerned."

    But Nelson, who had encouraged Clinton to run, said she will "overcome" the storm. He also predicted Joe Biden will not run, and scoffed at Rick Scott challenging him in 2018.

    “I am concerned because I don’t think her campaign has handled it well,” Nelson said, according to George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post....

  13. Rubio: China 'a growing danger to our national security'


    Marco Rubio is giving a speech in North Charleston on China. Here are remarks as prepared for delivery:

    Today I’d like to discuss China’s rise in global affairs and what I’ll do as president to ensure it doesn’t undermine American interests. If there were any doubts about the importance of this topic, the financial events of the past week put them to rest.

    On Monday, due in large part to a crash in China’s stock market, our own markets suffered their worst day in four years. Insecurity and anxiety about the future – already high for America’s families – climbed even higher....

  14. Donald Trump keeps pounding 'low-energy' Jeb Bush


    Jeb Bush may be the hardest working candidate out there, a constant presence on the town hall and fundraising circuit. This week alone he was in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

    But Bush, the self-styled “joyful tortoise," keeps getting attacked by Donald Trump as “low-energy." Morning Joe Scarborough actually posed it as a serious question today....

    A joyful tortoise
  15. As presidential campaigns take on national flavor, Iowa's role in nominating process narrows


    DES MOINES, Iowa — Just another day at the Iowa State Fair.

    A presidential candidate — Florida's Marco Rubio, but pick any — breezes past food-on-a-stick stands, shakes the hands of startled fairgoers, gazes at farm animals and then grills one, devouring the pork sandwich before the hive of reporters that hovers like a dust cloud.

    But behind the familiar spectacle lies worry about Iowa's coveted role in the nominating process....

    Sen. Marco Rubio is mobbed by the media at the Iowa State Fair last week.

(Alex Leary  |  Times)