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

Sen. Martinez won't seek reelection

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Greg Hodges

    If incumbant Republicans like Martinez keeps abandoning ship; the S.S. GOP. is going to sink faster than the Titanic. One really gets the feeling the Republicans are in such disarray these days; they don`t know what to do. Now that the Karl Rove school of attack dog politics has been smashed; they have NO game plan!!

    December 2, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Miguel

    For the gentleman who said he is running for 2012. Sen. Martinez was born in Cuba and would not be qualified to run for the presidency. I'm am upset that he will no longer be a face for the Republican party. There needs to be more representation of minorities within the party and not just 70 caucasian guys etc. Republicans are a diverse group, but it is not represented by our elected leaders.

    December 2, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. hugh ~ california

    To the blogger "Reality":
    Insanity seems to be your reality!
    To the subject:
    Maybe Sen. Martinez knows the GOP is over. He may come back as a democrat or independent, or maybe he's just become disenchanted with politics like most Americans.

    December 2, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. J.L.

    The little (R) beside the name is becoming a liability... and I think this is another example. All you Republicans can thank your Party Leader, George Walker Bush.

    And to "Reality": The 550 tons of yellow cake uranium is a 4+ month old story. The uranium dated back to before 1991. So please... don't try to tie this into Bush being justified for invading Iraq. Simply put, Iraq had NO WMDs. Face "reality" some time, you might enjoy it...

    And to "Darko": Republicans had control of both Legislative and Executive branch from 2000 to 2006, what did they accomplish during that time...? Thought so... get back to us when you can think of something meaningful during that time.

    December 2, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    one and done? Guessing he didn't look forward to being in the minority party ... and also willing to bet that he'll be back as a highly paid lobbyist as soon as the law allows ...

    December 2, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Orlando Democrat

    Great News for Florida.
    Martinez sold his soul to Jeb and George W. for a spot on the national stage. Washington was a big move up from the Orange County Commission. He went from a fair mind moderate to a win at any cost Republican neo con. Guess he will stay in Washington and earn another fortune as a lobbyist. He is to big for Orlando now.
    I only hope Florida does not elect Jeb in 2010!!!

    December 2, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. MsBingo

    Like rats from a sinking ship.

    December 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Renee

    Guess what? He did not do anything great at the Department of Housing and Urban Development either. go figure...

    December 2, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Viet Vet


    Me thinks there is not 550 Metric tons of Yellow cake uranium in the world

    December 2, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. John

    As a Floridian, yeah I can see why people are satisfied with this news, however, I am more ecstatic about the 19 GOP seat up for grabs!

    December 2, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. CJ

    Good, this frees it up for Alex Sink, the CFO. She is a good candidate, I think. I livve in Florida, and I wasn't expecting this.

    December 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Blinker

    Some of these posts are completely unsubstantiated...especially from those who don't even live in Florida. Mel Martinez has served Florida well and just because he is not seeking re-election does not mean he is "discovering he's on the wrong side of history." If you don't know anything about Senator Martinez, then please shut up.

    December 2, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Dave

    YAHOOO! Martinez might be the scumbag of scumbags in the Senate, with the possible exception of Orrin Hatch. Time to put a good Democrat back there, since we had two wonderful Senators in Nelsen and Graham. After that, get another Governor like "walking Lawton," and Florida is back in business with legitimate government. Addios, Martinez, don't let the door hit you on the way out....:) 🙂 🙂

    December 2, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. nostradamus

    Excellent news. One less Cuban infiltrated into the US Congress. Now, we have to do whatever is necessary to rid of the House those other Repug Cuban scumbags called Lincoln and Mario Diaz Balart and Ileana Lethinen. Especially Lincoln, the more obnoxious, nasty and arrogant individual that I have met in my life. Perhaps my fellow Americans never realized that Cuban politicians drafted their own Cuban-only Agenda, where our Country has nothing to do. For decades, they have controlled our foreign policy with Latin American, imposing their neo-con narrow minded viewpoint.

    December 2, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Billa, Orlando FL

    I can't name one thing he did (significant or non-significant), although we voted for him. I think GOP needs to bring in some progressive person in his place who could take lead from Bill Nelson.

    December 2, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Paul C.

    Oneto and J.L. how right you are! To be honest I didn't follow Senator Martinez as much as other Senators. But I do know he was one of the very few moderate Republicans, what I used to be, left in the party. Too bad, like others i.e. McCain who sold their collective souls to the whack job born again fundies and neo cons to get elected. As for the Cuban Americans in Miami, I don't like to judge the entire group but the older generation of those were former Batista cronies. And if anyone knows Cuban history they know that Batista makes Castro look like a cub scout. The yearbook answer of them being refugees hungering for democracy is crap. They were escaping punishment in Cuba for supporting such an evil despot with Batista. Yes there were and still are Cubans who are very good solid people that just wanted a better life and got caught in the crossfire between Batista and Castro. After the election last month, I do have hope and faith in Floridians that they will help elect better people to serve the federal and state governments.

    December 2, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Beth

    Good. He's such a creep!!

    December 2, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. TyWebb

    Mel's Diner

    December 2, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. ED FL:

    Well he was Orange county boss .Accomplished nothing 'Went to Washington D C to cure housing problems, No success there . Was part of a crooked election in Florida became a senator, the head of GOP committee, Flopped there, Back to senate to earn his pay . Now he wants to leave there , He should now run for head of non-accomplishment. He might find something he can be a success,due to past experiences.

    December 2, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. jerry, San Francisco, CA

    You're pretty sad "Reality." The reason why "CNN never published this" is that you just made it up! You can put your W idol on your mantel and worship it till the cows come home. But all the world is glad to be rid of him and all his lies. Straight to the bottom of the best presidents list, where maybe we can forget he ever existed.

    December 2, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Griff

    Barack Obama, and Sara Palin; are not meeting face to face... She could be my Daughter, but he would never be my Son... Noything to do with Skin-Colour.. I live in Africa.... I love my Toto's.... Barack OBama is the worst thing that could happen, to any African liitle folk.. Don't they have enough to put up with.......????????????????

    December 2, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. SD Demo

    The Democrats seem poised to make some electoral progress in Florida–this opens the door a bit wider for them.

    December 2, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    Reality--the story might be plausible if it had been moved to, say, Syria. However, Canada???

    Nom-it was the US between 2001 and 2006. How did that go?

    December 2, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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