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Meet Senator LeMieux

September 9th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

US Senator Mel Martinez said goodbye today on the floor of the US Senate. Martinez resigned his seat early. Tomorrow, George LeMieux, a relatively unknown confidant of Governor Charlie Crist will become Floridas newest US Senator. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, LeMieux is embracing the challenge.

It was less than two weeks ago that Governor Charlie Crist picked his closet confidant, George LeMieux, to fill a 16 month vacancy in the US Senate.

I am not only happy for my friend, I am happy for my state,” Governor Charlie Crist said when he made the announcement.

Democrats immediately called it cronyism. LeMieux says

Give me a chance. My first day on the job is on Thursday.

The soon-to-be US Senator has been under fire most recently for work his law firm did in helping a Mexican Sheet Metal company get work in Florida.

The move has organized labor livid.

There are people we can point to in Miami who lost their job to a Mexican worker because of LeMieuxs law firm manipulating the H2B visa system,” Rich Templin with the AFL-CIO said.

But LeMieux says he personally had nothing to do with the case, and says as a US Senator, he knows who his client will be.

As of Thursday at 2:45 the only client I have is the people of Florida and the people of this great country,” LeMieux said. “I have been able to do that in the past and I think I will be able to do it again. Its not unlike what a judge does.

LeMieux takes the oath of office Thursday afternoon. He argues his 16 months will be known for hard work.

Just like any new challenge or opportunity, you roll your sleeves up, you get into the details and you work hard,” he said. “I guarantee you thats what Im going to do when I get to Washington.

While George LeMieux has promised not to run against Charlie Crist for the seat in 2010, he is leaving open the possibility of running for the US Senate in 2012.

LeMieux, his wife, and three children have been in Washington since Monday, where they have been house hunting. The soon to be senator will be in the gallery tonight when President Obama delivers an address to a joint session of Congress.

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