The sources said that Martinez will officially announce his intention to step down on Friday. The Florida Republican, first elected in 2004, announced in December of last year that he would retire in 2010.
Florida law states that Gov. Charlie Crist may temporarily appoint someone to the vacant seat until the next general election. As of Friday morning, it was unclear what Crist would do. Crist announced in May he would not seek another term as governor, and instead would run for Martinez’s seat.
I’m assuming this was done so Crist can appoint himself and have the incumbent’s advantage in 2010. He is/was going to face a primary challenge from a guy named Marco Rubio who was playing the conservative fundamentalist foil to Crist’s RINO, but last I read he didn’t seem to be catching on so I’d doubt that played into it.