Florida: Sink Out of Senate Race; Others Ponder

Posted January 16, 2009 at 5:55pm

State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) announced Friday morning that she will not seek the Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R) in 2010.

In a statement released through the Florida Democratic Party, Sink said she plans to run for re-election to her current post “to continue being a fiscal watchdog on behalf of the people of Florida.”

The popular Sink had been viewed as the top potential candidate on the Democratic side, and with her decision, the primary is now expected to be a wide-open contest. Earlier this week, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) announced he would seek the Senate seat, and other Members, including Reps. Allen Boyd (D) and Ron Klein (D), continue to ponder a run.

Klein told a Florida paper on Friday that he has “been taking a look at [a Senate bid] and obviously waiting to just understand what the race is shaping up to be, who’s running and just analyzing the logistics of the race.”

Republicans, who lost a top potential candidate when former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) decided not to run, were quick to describe Sink’s decision as a setback for Democrats.

“This was always going to be a competitive election, but Alex Sink’s decision to forgo the Senate race is clearly a big setback for state and national Democrats who have made this seat one of their top targets in 2010,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said.