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New name surfaces in L.G. guessing game: George LeMieux

It doesn't take much to stoke the most popular parlor game in Tallahassee these days: Trying to figure out who Gov. Rick Scott will pick as his lieutenant governor and campaign running mate in 2014.

The latest name to gain circulation is George LeMieux, the former Charlie Crist appointee to the U.S. Senate who dropped out of the Republican primary against former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV last year and earlier served as former Gov. Crist's first chief of staff.

LeMieux was one of the 80 or so guests accompanying Scott on a week-long job promotion trip at the Paris Air Show. In a brief and over-the-top speech, he speaks glowingly about Scott working "from morning till late into the night" to turn around Florida's economy. "The state is doing great, and he has done an incredible job at it," LeMieux says in the video, released by Scott's office.

A case can easily be made for and against LeMieux. If Crist is the most likely Democrat to give Scott a run for his money, LeMieux makes sense from a political standpoint: Few know Crist better than LeMieux, he knows where a body or two is buried, and LeMieux can play rough if Scott wants a partner willing to play the hatchet man role. He has high-level state government experience, too.

On the negative side, he'll have to answer for all of his votes in the U.S. Senate, and his close association with Crist as the "the maestro" of Crist's 2006 victory. Then there's LeMieux's very unsuccessful campaign to hold the Senate seat Crist handed him in 2009 and the fact that he's a middle-aged white male lawyer from Broward County who will add no sizzle to the Scott ticket.

But before you dismiss LeMieux out of hand as an impossible choice, ask yourself: Did you think Crist would put him in the United States Senate?

-- Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Della

YES! It was obvious Charlie would only appoint someone to the Senate who would NOT run against him.He knew he could count of Lemieux to not run against him.

Chuckles

I thought George LeMieux and Charlie Crist are best friends. Charlie Crist made him a Senator. If anything surely those who hate Crist will not support this.

Mike C.

Well it makes sense as he is the only one who can bury the RPOF now that Greer is in jail. I think it would be a major mistake to pick him as LG. However, I do think that it may show that Scott is getting turned down by other candidates.

Tommy Hart

Priceless. A guy that has never won an election and was the driving force behind Crist embracing Obama's stimulus plan...if Scott wants to destroy any chance of securing his base then LeMieux is his man.

GOP

George is his own man. He was not Charlie Crist's right-hand man. When Crist became an independent, George stayed as a true Republican. He wants to help Scott and many others that are part of Crist's old clan.

Anti-Tallahassee

LeMieux has never won an election. If he joins the ticket with Scott, he will keep that distinction.

Roger Stone

Rick Scott is less susceptible to blackmail than Charlie Crist---ZERO chance the Little Frenchman is on the ticket for LG .

Can't take anymore

George has shown he is a varsity level boot licker and syncophant who will never make waves for the Big Man in Charge of any situation. Besides, that lawyer job isn't paying nearly as well as he thought it would and he needs to get back into back into a role that will let him quickly transition into a lobbyist job as soon as the voters throw Rick Scott out of office.

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