A sudden announcement. Florida Republican Senator Mel Martinez is resigning.
CNN: "Earlier this year, Martinez said he would not run for re-election in
2010. Under Florida law covering a Senate resignation, Republican Gov.
Charlie Crist will get to appoint a successor until the next general
election. Crist himself is running for that seat."
Politico reports: "He made the announcement at a morning staff meeting, where he said he will not be returning to the Senate after the August recess. Martinez has been rumored to be interested in the presidential opening at Florida State University, but had denied the speculation. The position just opened up in June, after university president T.K. Wetherell announced he was stepping down. It’s the second time that Martinez has resigned from a high-profile Republican office in the last several years. He stepped down as chairman of the Republican National Committee in October 2007 to focus more on his legislative responsibilities as a senator."
Martinez has been a vocal opponent of marriage equality. He said, in 2006, "It isn't good enough to say, 'Leave it up to the states.'…If we
leave it up to the states we will see the erosion of marriage that
we've seen by activist courts, which we otherwise will not see if we
protect the institution of marriage at the federal level." Martinez, however, had no problem hiring gay staffers.