This morning, Florida GOP Senate Candidate Mel Martinez, perhaps trying to impress upon conservative Republicans that he is one of them, held a conference call to Florida reporters with Pensylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum, discussing the proposed Constitutional Amendment banning Gay Marriage.

Santorum has emerged as the Chief Advocate in the Senator of the ban on Gay marriage,

And like most of the Republican establishment in Washington, has bestowed his support in the August 31st Florida Senate Primary on Martinez, who made Washington connections as President Bush's Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, until he stepped down from that position last December.

Senator Santorum said when it comes to fighting for cultural values, he knows Mel Martinez will step up and defend a bay on Same Sex Marriage (roll tape#1 o.q."

Call people to account")

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has called for a procedural vote on the issue of a Constitutional Amendment tomorrow....By all accounts, there is NOT the 67 votes needed to pass ...But according to Martinez, if he was in the Senate now, he'd be joining up with Senator Santorum (roll tape#2 o.q."on the line")

Mel Martinez was asked if supports in general gay rights, and has he ever had any gays work for him (roll tape#3 o.q."different issue")

A recent poll by political novice Tom Gallagher puts him 3rd in the race for the Senate,he says, putting him behind former Congressman Bill McCollum and Martinez in the race for the nomination.

Martinez has been assailed by McCollum for being a trial lawyer in his previous life, a bugaboo considered heretical in some parts of the Florida Republican establishment.

Last week, McCollum referred to the former HUD Secretary as the "John Edwards of Florida".

Conventional wisdom has it that both Martinez - if he wins the Primary - AND the Democratic candidate who emerges in August, will merge towards the Center n the general election , in an effort to win as many votes as possible.....Pensylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum says Martinez' support for a Constitutional Amendment banning Gay Marriage will NOT hurt him with 'moderates" and swing voters who could decide the election (roll tape#4 o.q." the answer to that is yes")

There are 8 Republicans on the ballot in the for the nomination for U.S. Senate.

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