[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/13/art.meek0113.gi.jpg caption="Rep. Meek is running for the Senate in 2010."]
(CNN) – The 111th Congress has barely begun but already a candidacy for a Senate seat in the 112th Congress has been announced.
Florida Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek announced that he is running to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez in 2010.
“Never in my lifetime have the people of Florida been faced with so many big problems,” Meek said in a statement.
“Change has come to Washington. But it won’t be easy. There will be opposition from many powerful forces who have stopped us before . . . I want to be a fighter for Florida with a strong voice that won’t let the special interests stand in the way of what’s right.”
Meek is currently serving his fourth term in the House of Representatives, and is the son of former Congresswoman Carrie Meek.
Meek is the first Senate hopeful to formally announce a bid to replace Martinez, who said earlier this month will not seek re-election in 2010. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently announced that he will not run for Martinez’s seat.
–CNN Congressional Producer Evan Glass contributed to this report.