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James Varney

James Varney

James Varney is a national correspondent for The Washington Times. A graduate of Wesleyan and the Columbia Journalism School, he spent decades with The Times-Picayune, including a 5-year stint as the paper's Latin America correspondent and two embedded tours with the Army and the Marines in Iraq in 2003. He was a member of the New Orleans-based reporting team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for Hurricane Katrina coverage in 2006. In sports, he covered both LSU's national championship in 2007 and the Saints victory in Super Bowl XLIV. He can be reached at

Articles by James Varney

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event at Versailles restaurant, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Ron DeSantis beats Adam Putnam in Florida GOP primary

Florida primary voters made some surprising choices Tuesday night, giving President Trump's endorsed gubernatorial candidate a resounding victory on the Republican side while going with a Bernard Sanders-backed Democrat over a U.S. House member. Published August 28, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announces his bid to run for the U.S. Senate at a news conference Monday, April 9, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Bill Nelson says Rick Scott, Trump administration orchestrated Florida offshore drilling exemption

When the Trump administration announced plans this year to ease the offshore drilling ban and then quickly retreated when it came to Florida's coast, Gov. Rick Scott took credit for backing the president away from the idea. But Democrats said it was all orchestrated to bolster the Republican governor's environmental credentials ahead of his anticipated bid to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Published August 27, 2018

Republican Senate candidate Leah Vukmir, who is challenging Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, is only two points behind the incumbent, according to a Marquette Law School poll that also gave Republican voters a fractional edge in enthusiasm. (Associated Press/File)

Midterm election polls look bright for GOP

The Republican Party has had a grim August, one filled with indictments, guilty pleas, courtroom convictions, gloomy prognosticators and a potential midterm disaster. So why are some party officials smiling? Polls. Published August 26, 2018

In this Aug. 6, 2018, file photo, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., speaks during a roundtable discussion with education leaders from South Florida at the United Teachers of Dade headquarters in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Bill Nelson tries to deflect Russia hacking claim criticism

In a campaign stop Tuesday, Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson sought to deflect criticism he had either fabricated claims Russian operatives had penetrated the Sunshine State's election machinery or leaked classified information. Published August 15, 2018

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson looks toward the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children during news conference on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. Nelson was denied access to the facility. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Bill Nelson goes silent amid charges of fabricating Russian hacking claim

With early voting beginning Monday in some Florida counties, the Senate race there was jolted as Republican Gov. Rick Scott kept up the pressure on Sen. Bill Nelson's thus-far unsubstantiated claims that Russian operatives have already compromised Florida elections. Published August 13, 2018