George LeMieux served as Florida's deputy attorney general for three years while his mentor, Charlie Crist, was A.G. Now LeMieux himself is considering running as a Republican candidate for that open Cabinet post in 2010.
"I've had a lot of people approach me," LeMieux said Wednesday. "There's no better client than representing the people of Florida, so it has a lot of allure for me." LeMieux, who will turn 40 in the next couple of weeks, has three children age 6 or younger, and is chairman of his law firm, Gunster, Yoakley and Stewart, so running for office would be a major change in his life.
"It's a big decision," LeMieux said, "but I know what it takes to run a campaign." He said he would seek the advice of many in the days ahead -- including Crist -- and hoped to make a decision "very quickly." Surely his interest is motivated in part by a less-than-impressive field that may include first-term state Rep. Tom Grady of Naples and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp. Others mentioned: U.S. Senate hopeful Marco Rubio and Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, who's also eyeing the Jeff Atwater state Senate seat.
LeMieux ran for elective office once before, in 1998, as a state House candidate in Fort Lauderdale, a race he lost to Democratic Rep. Tracy Stafford. (Historical trivia: LeMieux's campaign manager in that race was Eric Eikenberg, who succeeded him as chief of staff in the governor's office).