Tampa Bay, Florida news | Tampa Bay Times/St. Pete Times
Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

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. His career in journalism began at the Valley News in New Hampshire.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, engaged in a sharp exchange with Gov. Rick Scott over hurricane debris removal during a meeting of the Florida delegation on Wednesday. (Alex Leary  |  Times)

Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam push for federal citrus relief

WASHINGTON — As lawmakers were poised to vote on a $36 billion disaster relief package, top Florida officials on Wednesday implored the state’s congressional delegation to secure $2.5 billion more for the battered agriculture industry.But as...
Published: 10/11/17
Updated: 10/13/17
Photos for Alex Leary story on The Villages. Larry and Alta Kazee were turning in mortgage paperwork at The Villages on a recent morning and are relocating from Kentucky.

Still booming with retirees, the Villages gives Trump, GOP demographic edge in Florida

THE VILLAGES — Mortgage papers under his arm, Larry Kazee walked out of the bank and into the blazing Florida sun, a step closer to joining the stampede."We’ve come here to live, not die," said Kazee, 71, an Air Force veteran from Kentucky who...
Published: 10/04/17
Updated: 10/09/17
Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, proposed a bill that would repeal Florida's no-fault auto insurance system. | [Courtesy of Sen. Tom Lee]

Government denies Mar-a-Lago records

Nothing to see here.That’s the federal government’s response to a watchdog group that has sought names of visitors to President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Last month, the government provided names of people related to a visit by the Japanese...
Published: 10/03/17
Updated: 10/07/17
People line up with gas cans to get fuel from a gas station, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. The U.S. ramped up its response Monday to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico while the Trump administration sought to blunt criticism that its response to Hurricane Maria has fallen short of it efforts in Texas and Florida after the recent hurricanes there. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) PRGH108

Wave of Puerto Ricans fleeing Hurricane Maria devastation may shift Florida landscape

BY ALEX LEARYTimes Washington Bureau ChiefThe crisis in Puerto Rico could send tens of thousands of people to Florida, accelerating an already steady exodus from the economically depressed island and triggering wide-ranging effects on...
Published: 09/29/17
Updated: 10/02/17

Wave of Puerto Rican evacuees may shift Florida landscape

The crisis in Puerto Rico could send tens of thousands of people to Florida, accelerating an already steady exodus from the economically depressed island and triggering wide-ranging effects on schools, housing and jobs."This is a humanitarian...
Updated one month ago
Senator Bill Nelson drinks Gatorade before starting his run along American Beach on Amelia Island south of Fernandina Beach, Fla. on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. At age 74, Nelson is one of the most physically fit Senators at the Capitol.

Running for life and another term, Sen. Bill Nelson seeks determination on a Florida beach

By Alex LearyTimes Washington Bureau ChiefAMELIA ISLAND — The silver Cadillac pulled into the lot, desolate on a Saturday morning, waves swishing across the beach in the distance, past the boardwalk and the dunes. Behind pillows of...
Updated one month ago
A Central Electric Power Association lineman repairs a line in Scott County, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, that was damaged by an apparent tornado Tuesday afternoon. The tornado, one of at least five that authorities believe passed through the state Tuesday afternoon and overnight, caused much havoc by downing power and phone lines, toppling trees, stripping roofing, destroying sheds and damaging homes. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) MSRS108

Comey's letter hurt her in Florida, Clinton writes

Her new book includes her hopes of winning Florida, and going to the Trump wedding.
Updated one month ago

Bondi applauds Trump move to give surplus military equipment to local law enforcement

Attorney General Pam Bondi welcomed President Trump's order lifting a ban on local law enforcement from obtaining surplus military equipment. "This executive order will help ensure our brave law enforcement officers have the gear they need to...
Updated: 2 months ago

Charlottesville questions continue to trail elected officials in Florida

Elected officials continue to face questions over race and violence following the events in Charlottesville and Florida Rep. Brian Mast became the latest to echo President Trump's "both sides" argument. "There were multiple people from multiple...
Updated: 2 months ago
Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio

As Rubio applauds Trump's move on Venezeula, Nelson says sanctions fall short

Here’s something you don’t see: Bill Nelson getting to the right of Marco Rubio. Nelson, up for re-election next year, today said the new sanctions against Venezuela are inadequate. "These new sanctions are a step in...
Updated: 2 months ago