Mel Martinez won't seek second term

12/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez stunned the political world today when he announced that he will not seek re-election in 2010.

Speaking in his hometown of Orlando, Martinez said he wanted to spend more quality time with his family. Martinez said he had spoken earlier in the day with Gov. Charlie Crist.

Recent polls had shown the Cuban-born senator to be vulnerable as he faced re-election. No Democrat has been mentioned more frequently to oppose him than Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

Coincidentally, reported last night that a source close to Sink said that the CFO decided over the Thanksgiving Weekend not to run for the Senate seat.

Daryl Paulson is a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. He spoke with WMNF moments after Martinez made his suprising announcement.

An analysis by the Public Polling Institute released this morning before Martinez’ announcement showed other Democrats running competitively against Martinez; Florida Democratic Congress members Allen Boyd and Ron Klein, led Martinez by 4 points, South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was leading him by 1 point, and South Florida Democrat Robert Wexler tied with him 31-31.

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