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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mel Martinez's double life



Sen. Mel Martinez leads a double life.


On the national stage, he's a beloved front-man for the GOP, the party's most prominent Hispanic leader and the man President Bush tapped to lead the Republican National Committee after the disastrous 2006 elections. He was the only Floridian who addressed the party's convention, delivering a prime-time speech Thursday arguing that Sen. John McCain is the best candidate to protect America.

Back home in Florida, though, the state's junior senator has a giant target on his back. Florida Democrats are lining up to run against him in 2010. Many Republicans complain he spends too little time courting local Republicans. Hillsborough state committee member Carol Carter said she skipped Martinez's reception in St. Paul on Wednesday because Martinez spends so little time in the Tampa Bay area: "If he can't find me, I can't find him." More here.

Despite the speculation Martinez won't run again, he said there's "no question" he'll seek another term.


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:13am]


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