Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 2, 2008

FLORIDA'S MARTINEZ TO RETIRE AFTER ONE TERM.... Democratic Party strategists have already begun plans for the 2010 cycle, and near the top of the list of targets is Florida Sen. Mel Martinez (R). The former HUD Secretary and RNC Chairman has been something of a hapless, ineffective lawmaker, and his approval ratings have dipped well below the 50% threshold, which usually spells trouble for an incumbent.

Martinez looked ahead and didn't like what he saw. Multiple sources indicate today that he will not seek re-election. The St. Petersburg Times noted the news briefly this morning, and the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza added this report soon after.

Florida Sen. Mel Martinez (R) has decided against seeking a second term, a decision he will formalize shortly in the Sunshine State, according to an informed party source.

Martinez's decision was based on a desire for more free time and a less scheduled life, said the source.

Just yesterday, State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, widely considered the Democrats' strongest candidate for the race, said she would not run for the Senate, but that was before Martinez's announcement. Reps. Ron Klein, Allen Boyd, Robert Wexler, and Kendrick Meek, as well as state Sen. Dan Gelber, have all also been rumored as possible Democratic candidates, and with Martinez retiring, the field is likely to be quite large.

Leading Republican candidates are likely to include State Attorney General Bill McCollum and former state House speaker Marco Rubio. Party leaders will also no doubt reach out to Jeb Bush.

Just this morning, the Politico's Josh Kraushaar reported that Martinez would face real difficulties in a re-election bid, with polls showing most Floridians believing he doesn't deserve a second term. Apparently, he saw the writing on the wall.

Steve Benen 10:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (7)

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Hmmm.. I suspect this could be the event that precedes the "Fredo Corleone" moment for Lieberman!

Posted by: r_m on December 2, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Leading Republican candidates are likely to include State Attorney General Bill McCollum

One of the leaders of the Clinton Impeachment. He then ran for Senator and lost to Nelson. Time to recycle the trash, Florida?

Posted by: Danp on December 2, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

My bet is on Jeb Bush. He knows his little brother screwed up any chance he has at the POTUS, so he'll go for the lifetime tenure of the Senate instead.

I'll bet he wins it too. There's something weird about Florida.

Posted by: NonyNony on December 2, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

I had heard that Martinez was "recruited" to run for the Senate (by the bushies), that he really didn't want to do it, so no wonder he's been hapless as a Senator and wants out.

The race on both sides should be very interesting if those rumored decide to jump in.

Posted by: anon on December 2, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

If Clinton Tyree won't run, would his biographer?

Posted by: freelunch on December 2, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

It'll be an interesting race now, drawing some folks in who might have sat it out otherwise. I wonder if Charlie Crist might decide to trade in his Governor's chair for a Senate seat, and Jeb will certainly get some phone calls. The Democratic party bench is in odd shape--there's not much on the statewide level, but there's been a lot of local success. The real question is who can raise enough cash to compete here, because like California, there's a lot of media markets, and most of them aren't cheap.

Posted by: Incertus on December 2, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Osceola's Revenge ain't over yet. Crist? Jeb? Not weird enough. There can be only one choice:
Katherine Harris.

Posted by: Cazart on December 2, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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