Martinez Departure Could Be Start Of Rocky 2010 For Senate GOP

The decision by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) to eschew a second term may not be the last shew (sorry) to drop among GOP senators who have decided enough is enough.

Already Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) has said he will not run again for the seat he first won in 1996. And while Arizona's John McCain has said he plans to seek a fifth term in 2010, not everyone is convinced. Plus, there are questions about David Vitter (R-LA), who was caught up in a prostitution scandal; Arlen Specter (R-PA), who turns 80 in 2010 and has been battling cancer; and Bob Bennett (R-UT), who is approaching 77 years of age.

One possible bright spot for the GOP in Florida: Rumors persist that should Sen. Martinez leave early, Gov. Charlie Crist might appoint his predecessor as governor, Jeb Bush. And not a moment too soon, if you ask me, because it's been over four years since a Bush was on the Republican presidential ticket.

Below is a chart of the 36 Senate seats at stake in 2010:

DEMOCRATS (17): Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln), California (Barbara Boxer), Colorado (Ken Salazar), Connecticut (Chris Dodd), Delaware special (open seat Ted Kaufman, appointed to replace VP-elect Joe Biden, will not run), Hawaii (Daniel Inouye), Illinois (awaiting an appointment to succeed Prez-elect Barack Obama), Indiana (Evan Bayh), Maryland (Barbara Mikulski), Nevada (Harry Reid), New York (Charles Schumer), New York special (awaiting an appointment to succeed Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton), North Dakota (Byron Dorgan), Oregon (Ron Wyden), Vermont (Patrick Leahy), Washington (Patty Murray), Wisconsin (Russ Feingold)

REPUBLICANS (19): Alabama (Richard Shelby), Alaska (Lisa Murkowski), Arizona (John McCain), Florida (open seat Mel Martinez retiring), Georgia (Johnny Isakson), Idaho (Mike Crapo), Iowa (Charles Grassley), Kansas (open seat Sam Brownback retiring), Kentucky (Jim Bunning), Louisiana (David Vitter), Missouri (Kit Bond), New Hampshire (Judd Gregg), North Carolina (Richard Burr), Ohio (George Voinovich), Oklahoma (Tom Coburn), Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter), South Carolina (Jim DeMint), South Dakota (John Thune), Utah (Bob Bennett)

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