Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) on Friday appointed former Deputy Attorney General George LeMieux to the Senate to replace Sen. Mel Martinez (R), who is resigning mid-term. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Roberto Martinez had been on Crist’s short list to replace the Martinez, who had already announced he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2010.
LeMieux is the chairman of the law firm of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart. He previously served as Cristi’s chief of staff.
Crist in May announced that he will run for the seat himself next year. So he needed a trusted place-holder who wouldn’t pose a threat to his 2010 run. CQ Politics reported that LeMieux will not run for a full term next year, leaving the seat open for his old boss.
The situation somewhat mirrors one in Delaware. Sen. Ted Kaufman (D), a longtime adviser to Joe Biden, was named to finish out Biden’s Senate term after the Delaware Democrat resigned to be vice president. Kaufman does not plan to run for a full term in 2010, leaving the seat open for Biden’s son, Beau, to run. Beau Biden, who is Delaware’s Attorney General, could have been appointed to succeed his father in the seat. But he was deployed to Iraq at the time as part of the Delaware National Guard.