This man is one of our true favorites at Peace and Freedom. A former refugee, immigrant and a true man of strength and character, he has seved his nation and mankind in coutless ways. Vietnamese immigrants and those locked in Communist jails were among those he stood up for…. He is truly “the embodiment of the American Dream.”
S. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who has struggled to boost his approval ratings because of close ties to , announced Tuesday he will not seek a second term in 2010.
His seat was widely seen as vulnerable in two years, but Martinez, a Republican, rejected suggestions he faced difficult re-election prospects in a state won last month by Democrat Barack Obama.
“I’ve faced much tougher obstacles in my life,” Martinez said. “My decision is not based on re-election prospects, but on what on what I want to do with the next eight years of my life.”
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON and MARK WANGRIN, Associated Press Writers
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 4, 2008. Martinez , who has struggled to boost his approval rating since taking office, will not seek a second term in 2010, a state Republican party official said Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008.(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Martinez, 62, was elected in 2004 after serving as the U.S. secretary for Bush administration. He served as general chairman of the for 10 months, resigning in October 2007.during the
Martinez was born in Cuba. At the age of 15, he fled to America as part of a Catholic humanitarian effort called Operation Pedro Pan. Catholic charitable groups provided Martinez, who was alone and spoke virtually no English, a temporary home at two youth facilities. He then lived with two foster families, with whom he remains close. He was reunited with his family in Orlando in 1966.
In appointing Martinez in 2001, Bush said he was “the embodiment of the American Dream.”