In a surprise to the U.S Senate, Florida’s Junior Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), announced that rather then continuing to serve the duration of his term as a Senator until his term is up in 2010, he will resign as soon as a replacement can be named.
Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL), a popular moderate locked in a primary fight who is largely soon as a shoe in to keep that seat in Republican hands, would be charged with appointing such a replacement, though reports say Crist will not resign and fill the seat himself and instead replace him with someone else (who presumably would not seek re-election).
This appears to be a trend among Republican office holders this year. In July Governor and former 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), announced that she would not only be not seeking re-election, but would resign on July 28. Earlier there has also been rumors circulating that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) who is expected to be locked in a heavy Republican primary with current incumbent Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) who is vying for a third term as governor of the lone star state; would resign her seat sometime this Fall.
Martinez though, never seemed to me to be very comfortable as a Senator. Not a very vocal member, and a former Bush/Cheney loyalist who ran for the open seat in 2004 at the behest of Karl Rove and other administration allies, presumably so they could have another ally in the John Kyl- John Cornyn role in the Senate and be a different face that could usher Hispanics into the Republican party.