Florida Senator Mel Martinez says "No" to second term
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The Senator sounded like a professional athlete when announcing his retirement stating that he wanted to spend more time with his friends and family.
The election is just under two years away so there is plenty of time for Martinez to pull a Brett Favre and unretire. But for today, it sounds final.
“I make this announcement today in order to give the many qualified individuals who might choose to try to succeed me an opportunity to organize and gather support,” Martinez said in a press release.
“My decision was not based on re-election prospects, but on what I want to do with the next eight years of my life,” he said.
A friend of Martinez speculated, however, that there may be more to the decision than he's letting on to. Lew Oliver, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, told the New York Times that being a Republican in Washington, DC right now just isn't a lot of fun.
“It’s just no fun to be in the minority in D.C. when the other party controls the White House,” Oliver said. “The number of interesting, important and meaning things to do dwindles fast.”
Florida's other senator, Bill Nelson (a Democrat), did not indicate who he would support to replace Martinez. In the holiday spirit (unlike the banned Christmas tree ornament issue going on in Washington state), the senior Senator had nice things to say about his colleague.
''Mel has been a good friend, a good Senate colleague, and a good public servant, and I wish him well in the future,'' Nelson said.
Don't let the door hit ya
So with Martinez out the speculation as to who will fill his seat immediately begins.
On the Democratic side, Politico is reporting that Florida's Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is not going to run for the seat. Although she made this declaration before Martinez announced his decision. So perhaps this development could get her interested after all.