Friends in Power

Florida Gets New Senator

With political bet-takers focused on who will replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has reportedly settled on his choice to succeed outgoing Sen. Mel Martinez. And of course Crist's pick is a close friend: his former chief of staff, George LeMieux. LeMieux is tasked with completing Martinez's term, which runs until January 2011. At that point, Crist hopes to have won the Senate race and will take over from there. LeMieux, who headed Crist's run for governor in 2006, isn't expected to pick a fight with his former boss over the seat. Florida's Democratic Party chair called the move a "political cronyism."