Crist picks ex-aide George LeMieux to replace Sen. Martinez

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A state lawmaker says Gov. Charlie Crist is picking his former chief of staff George LeMieux to replace Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who is resigning.

State Rep. Jennifer Carroll, who was considered for the position, said Crist told her he is choosing LeMieux.

By choosing LeMieux, Crist picked the candidate he trusts most to fill out the term that expires in January 2011. That's when Crist hopes to be sworn in as Florida's next elected senator. Crist will make the announcement later Friday.

LeMieux ran Crist's 2006 campaign for governor. Crist then picked LeMieux as chief of staff. He left for a Tallahassee law firm in December 2007.

Martinez announced this month that he wouldn't complete his first term. Crist is running for the seat in next year's election.

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