TALLAHASSEE /Florida Newswire/ -– Governor Charlie Crist today announced he will appoint former Deputy Attorney General George LeMieux to serve the remainder of Senator Mel Martinez’s term upon Martinez’s official resignation. LeMieux, 40, currently serves as chairman of the law firm of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A., and previously served as chief of staff to Governor Crist.
“George LeMieux has the proven strength of character and record of leadership Floridians can trust will serve our state well in the coming months,” said Governor Crist. “I have had the great honor to work with so many hard working public servants who choose to put service above self in ways that inspire and encourage me to continue my commitment to the people each and every day. George LeMieux has been a tremendous example of this very type of commitment.”
Governor Crist announced he will appoint LeMieux to the US Senate in a press conference in the Old Capitol’s historic Senate chamber. LeMieux, a Florida native raised in Broward County, was joined by his wife, Meike, their three sons Max, Taylor and Chase, and his parents, George and Karen LeMieux. Governor Crist and LeMieux will attend a gathering of the community today at 5:00 p.m. in Ft. Lauderdale at City Hall, 100 North Andrews Avenue
“These are historic times in our state and in our nation and the people of Florida deserve a continuity of representation in Washington right now to protect their best interests,” said LeMieux. “I am honored by Governor Crist’s confidence in my commitment to serve and am honored by the opportunity to represent this great state.”
ABOUT GEORGE LEMIEUX
· Attended public schools in Coral Springs, Florida, along with his wife Meike.
· Graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from Emory University with a degree in political science.
· Received his law school education at Georgetown University where he also graduated with honors.
· Upon graduating law school, he returned to Fort Lauderdale where he began his practice of law at the Gunster, Yoakley law firm specializing in business litigation.
· Elected Chairman of the Broward County Republican Party in 2000.
· In 2003, he was asked by then Attorney General Charlie Crist to serve as Florida’s Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff to the Attorney General’s Office where he supervised more than 400 lawyers and 1300 total staff.
· As Deputy Attorney General he appeared on behalf of the State of Florida in the United States Supreme Court where he argued for and won a unanimous decision in a death penalty case.
· In 2006, Charlie Crist asked LeMieux to run his campaign for Governor where he supervised the campaign’s strategic, media and grassroots operations.
· Served as the Executive Director of the Crist/Kottkamp transition team.
· Led the Executive Office of the Governor as the Governor’s Chief of Staff in 2007.
· Rejoined the Gunster, Yoakley firm in 2008.
· Selected to lead Gunster, Yoakley as Chairman of the Firm in March of 2008.
ABOUT U.S. SENATE APPOINTMENT PROCESS
Senator Mel Martinez announced his intent to resign from the US Senate Friday, August 7, 2009. Governor Crist immediately announced his intent to conduct a thorough process to select someone to serve the remainder of Senator Martinez’s term, pursuant to Florida Statute 100.161.
“The great Floridians who we considered for this appointment are honorable men and women of great integrity and I thank them all for their wisdom and their candor as we have gone through this process,” Governor Crist said.
Other individuals considered include former US Senator Connie Mack; Congressmen Lincoln Diaz Balart and Bill Young; former Congressmen Mike Bilrakis, Lou Frey and Clay Shaw; former Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings; former US Attorney Roberto Martinez; State Representative Jennifer Carroll; former state House Speaker and Senate President Dan Webster; former Attorney General and Secretary of State Jim Smith; University of North Florida President and former Jacksonvile Mayor John Delaney and Susan Story, CEO of Gulf Power.
Details regarding Senator Martinez’s formal resignation, Governor Crist’s formal appointment of LeMieux, and transition information will be released as they become available. Interview requests for Governor Crist and LeMieux should be emailed to Erin.Isaac@MyFlorida.com.