Mel Martinez Resigns

Florida Senator Mel Martinez announced his resignation this morning. He will step down as soon as Governor Charlie Crist appoints a replacement. The resignation seems surprising, even though Martinez had already said that he would not run for a second term. A senator not planning on running for re-election might step down early to give his replacement incumbency status and a leg up in the next election, but that isn’t the case here. Crist is a candidate for the post and says he will not nominate himself to fill the Martinez vacancy–a lesson learned, no doubt, from Wendell Anderson–so the nominee presumably will be a placeholder.
Martinez’s resignation may highlight the upcoming battle for the Republican nomination to succeed him between Crist and Marco Rubio, who is favored by many conservatives.
PAUL adds: I don’t understand politicians who decline to finish their term for no apparent reason other than their personal preference. The only “explanation” Martinez offered was this: “it’s time I return to Florida and my family.” In other words, “I felt like it.”
Martinez won’t be missed. His last significant act was his vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor. But for the opportunity to cast a vote for the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Martinez might have skipped town earlier in the summer, as many of our residents like to do.
JOHN agrees: Exactly. When he ran for the Senate, didn’t anyone tell him it was a six-year term?

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