(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.
He seems like a nice man, just brainwashed by the Republican agenda.
what lobby firm is he going to be working for?
Good bye and good riddence to this right-wing obstructionist.
He and the other neocon-leaning repugs in congress have prevented the start of normalization of relations with Cuba since the 50's.
In case you haven't notice the economic embargo Ike instituted against Cuba in the 50's hasn't really worked has it? So why do we keep slamming our heads into a brick wall thinking it will?
Oh yeah, I remember, the "fear, smear, mock and lie" national security threat that the repugs keep telling us Cuba is – they keep dredging that dead horse up and we keep beleiving them. By the way, how many American GIs has Castro killed since spring of 2002?
Florida is finally going to get their karma for their past election fraud.
Martinez is one of the Bush-neo-cons, he is also one of the fear-mongers of the Republican party the ones that cry "the socialists are coming!" This man is SO out of touch with reality it is scary. So ..........good riddance!
HOPE TRUMPED FEAR & HATE!
Good to see a politician not try to hang on and realize there's more to do in life besides running with the corruption that comes in government. Why couldn't Byrd, Helms, Thrmond do likewise?
Like others, I wonder about the real reason for Mel leaving the Senate. I will be sorry to see a Hispanic voice leave even if I do not agree with his politics. Yet, I can see that he is a loyal GOP soldier making room for Jeb Bush. I met Mel and found him to be a moderate-con servative who counseled Republicans not to squander the Hispanic vote. Not many in the GOP listened. Too bad. Maybe that is in part the reason for his leaving. Mel is not a striking politician. Never was, never will but I consider him largely honest and well meaning. Being a minority in a minority party is no fun. He would have done much better as a Democrat even as many of a fellow Florida Cubans are not. I am not happy to see you go, Mel.
Thank you. We don't need any more haters. Good bye don’t let door hit you at face.
In other words, Mel Martinez is running for president in 2012.
I am one Floridian who won't miss Mr. Martinez. Please, please, please people of Florida, let's not send Jeb! to the Senate. This country has suffered enough under the Bush dynasty.
It's about time these politicians realize that it was never meant to be a lifetime job. Repubs and Dems alike should quit after 2 terms.
Yeah!! Best news I heard in months!!!
I am dancing in the street.
Lets send him back to Cuba to meet with Fidel
Now we can replace him with a true conservative PUBLIC SERVANT. Enough of the current crop of Democrat, Liberal and Republican self serving back-slapping phonies.
dot let the door hit you on the way out
Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate!!!!
This is one Florida Republican who is thrilled he's going....His lack of conservative convictions has cost us much. Now the door is open to replace him with a real Republican.
I was going to say thank you to all those democrats who blog here as it confirms their lack of intelligence, but then I realized it's these same peolpe who elected our next president and I got scared, really scared for what is in store for our country under democrat control. Look what they did to the banking industry and now they can do it to everything!
God help us!
what great job in the housing industry another bismal pick from the Bush administration....seeee yaaa
THIS WILL BE NO LOSS'
The guy has seen the writing on the wall. This is the same guy who told senior's in Florida that Obama was going to cut their social security by 50%. Bye Bye
one door closes, another door opens.
Before all of you repub-bashing left-wingers get too excited, keep this in mind. The Republican party was in WORSE shape back in 1992 than it is now.
The Democrats had larger majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives than they do now, and Bill Clinton won the White House thanks largely to Ross Perot.
Rats are always the first to jump from a sinking ship. I foresee an end to a very old and troublesome party. Good riddance!.
Finally a Republican with a brain. Now if we could just get the rest of the jerks to resign.
One less backward republican stagnating progress for the American people. Hopefully one more Obama democrat to propel this nation into the 21 century.