According to sources the Florida senator made it clear that he was seeking new horizons and that if something came up, he would grab it, regardless of any timing that interfered with his six year commitment to the most excusive club in the world.
The situation creates an interesting scenario. Martinez had already announced that he was not going to run for reelection. So a race for his senate had begun some months ago now. The state’s Governor, Charlie Crist is currently seeking to be Martinez’s successor. He is running in a primary against a true conservative young gun who was the Speaker of the Florida state house and former conservative Congressman Bill McCollum.
With Martinez’s sudden resignation, the Governor must now appoint a replacement to fill his unexpired term. He could appoint himself, which he will not do or he could resign as Governor and have the Lieutenant Governor appoint him to replace Martinez until the election. Neither would be seen as acceptable power grabs or fair practice.
So Crist will most likely fill the vacancy with someone who does not desire to hold on to the senate seat and become another challenger to Crist in what is already a three man primary race.
Who Crist does pick will be important not just to the people of Florida and the business of the U.S. Senate but to his own chances of winning the nomination for that seat himself.
If it is a poor choice Crist will be hurting his own prospects among Floridians in his primary bid.
So who is he to choose? It can’t be someone who is good and will want to stay in the position. It can’t be seen as a lightweight just there to keep the seat warm for Crist.
I believe that Charlie Crist will appoint Connie Mack, Sr.
Connie Mack was Florida’s Senator before. He was also one of the state’s most popular elected officials. Conservative, pragmatic, well spoken and trusted, Mack could be very influential and he would be a solid figure to represent Florida again.
He was one of the best people in the senate when he served in it and he is probably the best person for the job right now.
The only problem is that Connie Mack, Sr. is so good, Crist might be intimidated by him because Charlie Crist is no Connie Mack and would have a hard time holding a candle to him.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole situation is Martinez.
After entering the stage as a promising conservative voice, Martinez spent time serving as a Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee. He didn’t really make much of a difference and resigned early from that post.
While doing his job in the senate he proved not to be the sharpest tool in the shed and far from the type of conservative voice the party needed.
With no great accomplishments Mel Martinez was really an insignificant member of the nation’s most exclusive club and I can’t help but feel that since Republicans lost the majority in the Senate, he did not like serving in the minority. A lot more power and perks come with being in the majority and I think Martinez was not happy without them. So after losing majority control, Martinez spent the last three years or so moping around and sulking.
Well you know what? Good riddance, you bum!
You never should have run in the first place and seeing you leave the U.S. Senate is no loss to the people of Florida, the G.O.P. or the nation.
On another similiar note, republicans may soon be losing another Senator.
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will be resigning to dedicate all her time to defeating incumbent Rick Perry in a primary for Governor.
Governor Perry will then have to appoint someone to fill that vacancy. Some of the names mentioned as likely replacements are Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst,Railroad Commissioners Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones, Attorney General Greg Abbott, State Sen. Florence Shapiro and former Secretary of State Roger Williams.
Governor Crist ruled out appointing himself to the senate seat but has stated that this vacancy occurs during the congressional recess and gives the people of Florida the time to find the most honest and qualified person to serve the remainder of martinez’s term.