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LeMieux Prepares to Take Senate Seat

George LeMieux, the Florida Republican appointed to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez (R), is making early staff hires as he prepares to be sworn into office next week.

LeMieux, tapped last week to fill the Senate vacancy by his onetime boss Gov. Charlie Crist (R), is expected to hire longtime adviser Vivian Myrtetus as one of his top staffers, according to a St. Petersburg Times blog posting. The blog also noted that Peter Rummell, former head of the St. Joe Co., will lead LeMieux’s transition.

Martinez unexpectedly announced last month that he would resign his Senate seat before his term expires in January 2011. Martinez had previously said he would retire at the end of his first term, a position for which Crist is running. The Florida governor tapped LeMieux, 40, as a placeholder to fill out the remaining months in Martinez’s term.

LeMieux currently serves as chairman of the board of directors at the law firm Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart. He once served as Broward County Republican Party chairman, and in 2006, he ran Crist’s gubernatorial campaign.

LeMieux is expected to be sworn in as soon as next week, possibly Thursday.

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