Florida Senator Mel Martinez has announced that he will retire from the Senate and not seek re-election after only one term. Read his biography below, see photos and a video.

Florida Senator Mel Martinez (R) has decided against seeking a second term. Mel Martinez’s decision to retire was based on a desire for more free time and a less scheduled life. Many say the first term senator would most certainly be a Democratic target in 2012.

There may be a push to recruit former Governor Jeb Bush into the contest although that seems like a long shot. State Attorney General Bill McCollum and Representative Connie Mack will almost certainly be mentioned as possible GOP candidates to replace Martinez. Democrats will most likely float Representatives Meeks and Klein.

Mel Martinez Biography

Mel Martinez is a United States Senator from Florida, a Republican, a Cuban American, and the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George W. Bush.

Melquíades Rafael “Mel” Martínez was born on October 23, 1946 in Sagua La Grande, Cuba so his age is 62.

His personal story is compelling. He came to the United States in 1962 at age 15 as part of a Roman Catholic humanitarian effort called ‘Operation Peter Pan’, which brought into the U.S. more than 14,000 children.

Catholic charitable groups provided Mel Martinez a temporary home at two separate youth facilities. At the time Martinez was alone and spoke virtually no English. After living in youth group homes, he lived with two foster families, and in 1966 was reunited with his family in Orlando.

Mel earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University, and went on to practice law for 25 years.

Today, Senator Martinez serves in the U.S. Senate and sits on the Armed Services committee, the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee, and the Energy and Natural Resources committee. He also serves on the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.

Senator Mel Martinez and his wife Kitty have three children: Lauren Martinez Shea, John Martinez, and Andrew Martinez. They also have three grandchildren.

Mel Martinez Video