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TEA Party to LeMieux: Quit and Make Room for Rubio

No offense to Sen. George LeMieux, but the Florida TEA Party wants him to leave -- now.

The interim senator's term officially expires in January, but TEA Party Chairwoman Peg Dunmire says Florida would benefit if he took an early exit.

"With the current seniority system firmly in place, LeMieux's resignation would provide our new U.S. senator, Marco Rubio, a huge advantage by surpassing the other 12 freshmen who will take office when they are sworn in Jan. 3," said Dunmire, who ran this year as a TEA (Taxed Enough Already) candidate for Congress in Central Florida's 8th District.

Citing precedent, Dunmire recalled that in 1981, Sen. Dick Stone resigned early to allow newly elected Sen. Paula Hawkins to start work ahead of other incoming freshmen.

Among the seniority-based perks, Dunmire said, could be choicer committee assignments and a higher ranking in the Senate pecking order.

But in actuality, the Senate changed its rules to state that if an appointment is made between election day and the convening of the new Congress, seniority is not affected.

LeMieux, through his staff, has said he intends to serve until Jan. 3.

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