In a surprise announcement at a morning staff meeting Friday, Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida announced that he would not return to the Senate after the August recess. While he had previously said that he would not seek re-election, he had made plans to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in 2011. He is the second Republican senator in the last several weeks to announce their resignation, leaving Florida's governor, Charlie Crist, to find a placeholder. Some speculate that Martinez may be interested in assuming the role of president of Florida State University, after the school's president also announced he was stepping down.
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