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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Sen. Mel Martinez Resigns; Did the GOP Base Hound Him Out?

This is the sort of big-headline political news that won’t matter much in the long run. Though he has persistently denied the rumor’’ that he’ll step down,

Ismaeel Delgado
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Aug 07, 2009

This is the sort of big-headline political news that won’t matter much in the long run.

Though he has persistently denied the “rumor” that he’ll step down, Florida Sen. Mel Martinez might announce as early as Friday that he’ll leave office early, according to a number of sources in the state and nation’s capitals.

“It’s a deeply personal decision that he will expand on later today. He decided it’s time to move to another stage of his life,” said a source familiar with the situation.

Martinez, the first Hispanic chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2007 to 2008, announced last year that he would not run for re-election in 2010 and spent the first months of the 111th Congress as an obviously unhappy but fairly reliable Republican vote.

He nonetheless took a lot of heat from the GOP base for his pro-immigration reform views and for his support of Sonia Sotomayor, whom he defended from charges of “racism” and endorsed for confirmation very early on. Martinez simply never got much respect; when he announced that he’d vote for Sotomayor, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post tweeted, “Duh.” Jim Geraghty, hearing that Martinez might have left the Senate because he was sick of his party and his colleagues, predicts that he’ll “catch hell” for that. But between this and the pressure that pushed Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) over to the Democrats, it seems like the problem is less Martinez’s sensitivity and more the GOP base’s demand for ideological purity.

Ismaeel Delgado | Ismaeel Delgado has been working for the Ministry of Information and Communications as a Technical Officer for the past five years. He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with a Masters in Information and Communication Engineering. He is involved in the review, revision, redesign, and expansion of the required structure, legislation, laws, and technically relevant national planning and program for spectrum management based on ITU radio regulations as a technical officer in the Ministry of Information and Communications' Frequency Management Department.


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