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Crist Expected to Appoint Former Aide to Senate Seat

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to turn to his political shadow and former chief of staff, George LeMieux, to stand in as Florida’s U.S. senator until Crist can win the seat himself in the 2010 election.

The governor’s office will announce the decision at 11:15 a.m. today in Tallahassee. Crist has said that he wanted his appointment to have some time to get ready before Congress reconvenes on Sept. 8.

Crist faced the delicate task of filling a seat he is running for himself after Sen. Mel Martinez announced three weeks ago that he was stepping down. In choosing LeMieux, Crist signaled that personal loyalty and political instincts mattered more than any potential perception of cronyism.

So who is George LeMieux? Here’s his bio from his Website, thelemieuxreport.com.

George LeMieux is a native Floridian, who grew up in Broward County, Florida. He attended public schools in Coral Springs, Florida, along with his wife Meike. George graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from Emory University with a degree in political science. He received his law school education at Georgetown University where he also graduated with honors.

Upon graduating law school, he returned to Fort Lauderdale where he began his practice of law at the Gunster, Yoakley law firm specializing in business litigation. In 2000, George was elected Chairman of the Broward County Republican Party. In 2003, he was asked by then Attorney General Charlie Crist to serve as Florida’s Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff to the Attorney General’s Office where he supervised more than 400 lawyers and 1300 total staff. As Deputy Attorney General he appeared on behalf of the State of Florida in the United States Supreme Court where he argued for and won a unanimous decision in a death penalty case. In 2006, Charlie Crist asked LeMieux to run his campaign for Governor where he supervised the campaign’s strategic, media and grassroots operations. Crist credited LeMieux as being a large part of the campaign’s success stating: “some campaigns have an architect, this campaign had a Maestro”.

For his efforts LeMieux received the prestigious “Pollie” award from the American Association of Political Consultants as the nation’s “MVP” in a Republican campaign for 2006. LeMieux served as the Executive Director of the Crist/Kottkamp transition team, and went to lead the Executive Office of the Governor as the Governor’s Chief of Staff in 2007. In 2008, LeMieux rejoined the Gunster, Yoakley firm where he now concentrates his practice on corporate counseling and litigation. In March of 2008, George was selected to lead Gunster, Yoakley as Chairman of the Firm. George lives in Tallahassee with his wife Meike and their three sons Max, Taylor and Chase.

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