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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. Fox poll: Bush hasn't been hurt by Trump

    Blog

    Donald Trump leads in a new Fox News national poll, surging to an even higher level of support.

    Trump gets the backing of 26 percent of GOP primary voters, up from 18 percent a few weeks ago. "That’s not only the highest level of support for Trump, but it’s also the highest any GOP candidate has received since the Fox poll began asking the question in December 2013," Fox reports....

  2. Joe Biden's Florida brother: 'Go, Joe, Go' for president

    Blog

    George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post reports:

    Joe Biden‘s youngest brother, Ocean Ridge resident Frank Biden, says he’s among those urging the vice president to enter the 2016 presidential race.

    “I’d like nothing better…I make no bones about the fact that I’m one of the voices in the big clan that says ‘Go, Joe, Go,'” said Frank Biden, the president of the West Palm Beach-based charter Mavericks High School and director of the Florida Charter School Alliance....

  3. Video: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio at Voters First Forum

    Blog

    Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and the most of the other GOP contenders for president appeared at a forum Monday evening in New Hampshire.

    Donald Trump did not attend but he hung over the field; the very first question was about immigration and it stuck around all night, the candidates taking a border-first line on the issue. Rubio, for example, outlined a piecemeal approach starting with border security and avoided talk of citizenship....

  4. Poll: Donald Trump leads in N.H. with Jeb Bush in second

    Blog

    A fresh poll out of New Hampshire shows Donald Trump way ahead of other Republicans.

    The WMUR Granite State Poll shows Trump with the support of 24 percent of likely GOP primary voters, doubling Jeb Bush, who has 12 percent. Scott Walker is third with 11 percent.

    Asked who they think will win the primary, voters say Bush, followed closely by Trump.

    From WMUR.com: The remainder of the pack is led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 7 percent each; followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 6 percent; and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Dr. Ben Carson at 5 percent each....

  5. Rubio votes to defund Planned Parenthood; Nelson votes against

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio stuck around Washington today to cast a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, a measure that failed to get 60 votes to advance.

    Rubio was scheduled to be in Manchester, N.H., for a candidate forum but did not want to miss the vote, which follows the release of covert videos about Planned Parenthood. Rubio will participate in the forum via video, as will Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul....

  6. Bush allies 'all but giddy' about Trump freezing field

    Blog

    Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to criticize the premise of this New York Times story, describing Jeb Bush’s “enthusiasts … all but giddy.

    “Despite the false @nytimes story about Jeb Bush being happy with the Trump surge, He fell more than anybody & is miserable,” Trump wrote....

  7. With nod to Trump, Jeb Bush reveals plan to address illegal immigration

    Blog

    Jeb Bush today outlined a six-part plan to address illegal immigration and improve border security -- a move designed to get ahead of an issue Donald Trump has put at the forefront of the presidential race.

    1. A forward-leaning Border Patrol with the flexibility to deploy resources to meet threats.
    2. Use new technologies to achieve continuous surveillance of the border.
    3. Bolster border infrastructure and improve access to federal lands.
    4. Require electronic verification of employment eligibility.
    5. Identify and send home the people who are entering the United States and overstaying their visas or otherwise violating the terms of their admission
    6. Crack down on sanctuary cities that undermine efforts to enforce immigration laws....

  8. Should Marco Rubio be concerned?

    Blog

    More than three months after Marco Rubio entered the presidential race, his standing in national and early nominating state polls (not to mention home state Florida) has been stagnant, in some cases fallen....

    Sen. Marco Rubio
  9. Jeb Bush unveils border security, immigration reform plan

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush on Monday outlined a six-part plan to address illegal immigration and improve border security -— a move designed to get ahead of an issue Donald Trump has put at the forefront of the presidential race.

    1. A forward-leaning Border Patrol with the flexibility to deploy resources to meet threats.

    2. Use new technologies to achieve continuous surveillance of the border.

    3. Bolster border infrastructure and improve access to federal lands....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is outlining a six-point strategy to bolster security at the nation's border and overhaul its immigration laws. 
The former Florida governor said Monday that finding a solution to the status of people in the country illegally "is a nonstarter if our borders are not secure against future illegal immigration."  [Associated Press]
  10. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of Aug. 3

    Blog

    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of Aug. 3

    Rubio on Monday will be in Manchester, N.H., for a candidate forum hosted by the Union Leader newspaper and C-SPAN. On Wednesday he goes to Cleveland for a pre-debate gathering with supporters. On Thursday Rubio takes the debate stage. Friday, he’s in Atlanta for the RedState Gathering.

    Bush’s schedule resembles Rubio’s. He’s got the Monday forum in New Hampshire. On Tuesday he participates in the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville. Bush heads to Cleveland on Wednesday and has the debate Thursday. Friday, Bush is back in New Hampshire for a town hall in Barrington. He follows Rubio at RedState on Saturday....

  11. Alan Grayson grabs union endorsement

    Blog

    Alan Grayson later today will snag the backing of the Central Florida Building and Construction Trades Council, a union-backed group.

    “​Working people in Florida need a bold leader like Alan Grayson who will stand with Elizabeth Warren in the Senate and take on Wall Street,” council President Wes Kendrick​ said in a release. ​​"Alan is a​ fearless leader and fighter for all working people​ who has ​a proven track record of getting things done even when it was not easy.”...

  12. Jeb Bush ditches openness to budget deal with some tax increases for big spending cuts

    Blog

    Jeb Bush says as president he would not accept any tax increases as part of a deal to slash government spending, going back on what he had to say few years ago.

    “No,” Bush flatly told Politico’s Mike Allen during a Sunday forum in California hosted by the Koch bros-funded Freedom Partners. "We've raised taxes. What we need to be doing it entitlement reform, curbing the growth of spending, creating a high-growth scenario....

    Jeb Bush at Koch brother gathering in California on Aug. 2, 2015
  13. Rubio impresses crowd at Koch event, knocks 'constant secrecy and drama' surrounding Clintons

    Blog

    Marco Rubio put in a crowd pleasing performance at the Koch brother gathering in California today, avoiding stumbles as Politico's Mike Allen fired off questions on Planned Parenthood, climate change, evolution and Donald Trump.

    And Rubio showed quick wit. When Allen asked what Rubio's "posture" would be during Thursday's debate, the Florida Republican said, “I’m going to be standing."...

    Marco Rubio at Koch brother gathering in California on Aug. 2, 2015
  14. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week - Ron DeSantis.

    The conservative congressman stands to benefit with fellow Rep. Jeff Miller of North Florida deciding on Thursday not to enter the primary for U.S. Senate. DeSantis, whose politics would play well in Miller's Panhandle district, boosted his profile with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for the impeachment of the IRS chief.

    Loser of the week - Ken Detzner. ...

  15. Donald Trump leads in another national poll

    Blog

    Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows.

    Jeb Bush was first in the last WSJ/NBC poll in June and now sits third, just below Scott Walker. Marco Rubio may be a tad concerned.

    Trump: 19%
    Walker: 15%
    Bush: 14%
    Carson: 10%
    Cruz: 9%
    Huckabee: 6%
    Paul: 6%
    Rubio: 5%