December 2nd, 2008
01:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Sen. Martinez won't seek reelection

Martinez will not seek a second term.

Martinez will not seek a second term.

(CNN) - Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Florida, announced Tuesday will not seek reelection in 2010.

In a Florida press conference, Martinez said his decision was not based on the likelihood he would face a tough reelection fight.

"I've faced much tougher obstacles in my life," he said. "My decision is not based on re-election prospects, but on what on what I want to do with the next eight years of my life."

The first term senator and onetime National Republican Committee chairman narrowly won his first Senate race in 2004. Martinez also served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during President Bush's term.

One congressional source cited Martinez's age, 62, and said "he is ready for the next chapter in his life."

It currently appears 19 GOP seats will be up for grabs in 2010.

Filed under: Mel Martinez
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    Not all Republicans are bad; not all Democrats are good. Let's do the research on him first and find out what he has accomplished, or not accomplished, before woo-hooing. While I'm happy to see the balance of power shifting, it could be he is being driven out to make way for someone even worse. And there are worse...

    December 2, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Ken

    Another [R] that sees the writing on the wall. But let's face it, he is smarter than most: at least he knows there's a problem, and wants out. He is a step up from those that see no problems with Bush and GOP policies, those with child-like mentalities who blame everyone else for the problems they created, those that wanted 4 more years of their special rightwing failure.

    December 2, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Virginia

    Barbara in NC-yes, one less hypocrite in Congress. And now Hillary will be gone, thank goodness, but she becomes ANOTHER hypocrite in the White House, along with Obama, Biden, Emmanuel, Holder, etc, etc, etc. What hypocrite will be appointed to take the place of Obama, Biden and Hillary–scary thought.

    Repubs all in 2010!!

    December 2, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |

    That's the best news I heard; this is got to be the best Christmas present ever... We are talking about the most inefficient, worthless man to ever serve the great state of Florida.
    All I have to say good luck and don’t let the door hit you in the rear end.

    December 2, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. dwh

    A Senator for four years, age 62. Not bad for the great indefinite retirment he will receive.

    December 2, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. John -- White Plains, NY

    he was empty suit at best...all foam, no beer...

    December 2, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Aaron from Ohio

    Mel probably won't be the only republican senator who decides not to run for re-election in 2010. The democrats will be setting the agenda and control all of the chairmanships for the committees. If Obama can start to turn the economy around in the next two years, 2010 could be another good year for them. If Obama fails to jump start the economy, the republicans will see gains. It's as simple as that. It all boils down to the economy. People are losing their jobs and homes. If Barack can put people back to work and give them hope for the future, the republicans will be toast again.

    December 2, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. irishny

    So much hatred here.Sad really.
    Good luck to the man

    December 2, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. paul oregon

    this person may just relize that if palin is there leader there may not be a g.o.p party in 2010

    December 2, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Tim E

    Yes, one more Bush-backing loser down! "Might get someone worse, things could get worse, the devil you know beats the devil you don't" are all just ways of expressing "fear of the unknown." Fear will not rule me nor will those that embrace it. That goes for foreign born terrorists and home grown tyrants alike.

    December 2, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Rick

    After two years of Obama I'm sure the country will be ready for change that we can believe in and republicans will have no problem getting elected.

    December 2, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Chuck WA

    Why are you Dems so bitter? Too much "clinging"? I admire a Senator who can see that there are other things in life that matter as a person gets older. IMHO, there are too many "past their prime" senators (and representatives) like Kennedy, Byrd, Spector, et al who are staining the furniture with their "leaky" Depends.

    When these jobs were invented, they were not suppose to be LIFE TIME JOBS.

    December 2, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Jeff in Illinois

    I don't know anything about him, so I don't really have any input on "good" or "bad". I'm mostly a Dem, but I've seen the damage complete control by one party can do (albeit, with a maniacal dictator president). I'm not so sure I want a vast majority in the Senate. 60 Senate seats, sure, because with a reasonable president at just a few decent Senators, the power can still be checked.

    What I do know is, this guy is going to work 6 years in the Senate, and have a lifetime retirement of 100% of his final salary, plus raises and benefits for life. If I could work a job for 6 years and be done, I'd do it too.

    Maybe there's something more to it (push Jeb in, for example), or maybe the guy is actually NOT thoroughly corrupt, and is happy to walk away with those fat paychecks for the rest of his life.

    December 2, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Frank

    The Republicans are starting to dodge 2010 bullets already?

    I guess that at least a few of them realize that a tide strong enough to sweep an African-American named Brack Obama to the Presidency is not likely to ebb as a result of just one election.

    December 2, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Jack

    Well, maybe he should step down now so that the GOP will have an incumbant in office for the next election. Wow, 19 seats up for reelection out of 32? We don't wan't to know what the country will be like with a filabuster-proof senate. But if you want an idea, look at Germany in the 1930's after the Nazis enabeling act.

    December 2, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Voter

    No, this is not about Mel Martinez.

    I just read that the CEO of Ford Motor Company will work for $1 a year if they receive funding help, and they're putting together a great plan to succeed.

    The first thing that flashed into my head was that, as an American, I would LOVE to buy an American car. Instead, I've been driving a Honda since 1980.

    I am thrilled at the possibility of American car companies getting back on track. That Obama might be willing to help them, and therefore ALL OF US, makes this NON-FAN of Obama think again for the very first time since I heard his name.

    Maybe things will get better for the little guy over time after all...

    December 2, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. GOP Campaign Strategy

    He feared the GOP would send Sarah Palin to campaign for him.

    December 2, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Abe Froman - Chicago

    As I read the comments above, everyone is happy another Republican is stepping down. A few things to ponder:

    1. The Democrats have not won his seat – yet, so don't get all to excited.
    2. It is good to have checks and balances – that is what the founding fathers wanted, and we need it. We need Republicans and Democrats both to discuss and work out ideas. Having a large majority of one party is not the right thing to have.

    December 2, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Tim

    Another disillusioned republican. GW really destroyed this party.
    He's leaving under false pretenses to avoid pointing fingers. I don't see much of a future for this devestated party.

    December 2, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Spencer/NY to VA

    Even this guy knows the GOP is over.

    December 2, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. barb

    I live in Florida, thank god that idiot is leaving. Flordia is behind the times thanks to people like him. Old right wing ideas that have contribute to this countrys demise.

    December 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Christian

    Ooooo....19 seats up for grabs in 2010? I'll have that with a side of takeover. ^_^

    December 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. OB


    December 2, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Lynn

    I wonder if what "chapter" is in his plans...perhaps a presidential run? He doesn't seem like the type of politician to just retire at the age of 62.

    December 2, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Hey, he now has his pension, health care and other Congressional benefits for life. What the heck does he care about the rest of the USA?

    December 2, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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