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December 01, 2008

Sink not running against Martinez

One of the Democrats’ leading candidates to challenge Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) in 2010 has decided to pass up the opportunity, according to a source familiar with her decision.

Florida’s chief financial officer, Alex Sink, has decided to run for a second term as CFO and forego a run against Martinez. She made the decision over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Sink’s office did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Martinez is one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2010, with multiple polls showing him with approval ratings well under 50 percent and weak reelect numbers.

Democrats viewed Sink as someone who could clear a potentially crowded primary field.  In a July poll conducted by the automated firm Public Policy Polling, Sink led Martinez 37 to 31 percent in a hypothetical matchup.

Sink was also viewed as a potential challenger to Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.). Prior to serving as the state’s CFO, she was president of Bank of America.

“People love her in both parties,” said Susan MacManus, political science professor at the University of South Florida. “When she got elected CFO she got a lot of support from the business community. And she’s very personable and been aggressive in highlighting the state’s economic decisions and problems Florida faces.”

Sink’s decision not to run leaves a crowded field of potential Democratic challengers, including Reps. Ron Klein and Allen Boyd, outgoing state House Minority leader Dan Gelber and State Senator Dave Aronberg.