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Welcome to Washington, Sen. LeMieux

Republican U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Miami -- who passed on Gov. Charlie Crist's offer to consider him for the Senate appointment -- said of George LeMieux: "I have known George LeMieux for many years and hold him in great respect. I look forward to welcoming him to Congress and to the Florida Congressional delegation, and to working closely with him in the critical months ahead."

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said: "There are some very important and immediate issues facing Florida, such as health care and protecting the military's testing and training ranges in the Gulf of Mexico. I intend to have a good personal and bipartisan relationship with the new senator, as I have had with Mel Martinez."

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