Mel Martinez Decides One Term is Enough, 2010 Senate Race Wide Open
Senator Mel Martinez has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2010. His Senate seat was generally seen as one of, if no the most, vulnerable ones up in two years, and his low approval ratings didn't paint a rosy picture for re-election anyway.
His announcement ends a brief, but high profile political career. He made a failed bid for Florida's lieutenant Governorship in 1994, was elected as Orlando's Mayor in '98, went on to serve as Bush's first HUD secretary for three years, and then won a hotly contested race for his current position in 2004.
Now is not the time to focus on the fact he won the Republican primary with dirty, gay-baiting campaign tactics, and then won the general election using some terrorist fear mongering ads, or was hand picked by Karl Rove..
..or that his Senate career was pretty unsuccessful, or his fund raising and staffing controversies, or his brief, disappointing run as chairmen of the Republican National Committee, or that people in his own party decided to brand him a "RINO". No. Now is the time to reflect on his successes, whatever those may be. Ok, ok. Unlike most of his party he wasn't a total dick about immigration issues, and he supported some decent environmental things.
This, taken with Alex Sink's announcement yesterday that she won't seek the Democratic nomination, throws the 2010 seat wide open. Buckle up Florida. It's going to be a bumpy ride.