Martinez Quits Top RNC Post After 10 Months

Fla. senator bucked party on immigration, won't be replaced
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2007 6:11 PM CDT
US Republican Senator from Florida Mel M   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Mel Martinez has quit as RNC general chairman after only 10 months in the post. The US  Senator from Florida, a Cuban refugee, publicly split with GOP hardliners over immigration reform. Martinez was also left to explain why the party’s presidential hopefuls were no-shows at a bilingual forum, the Washington Post reports.

“Now is this a rejection of Hispanic voters?” Martinez asked rhetorically at the time. “Of course not. And I hope it’s not seen that way.” The Politico reports Martinez may have bigger fish to fry: He's facing a tough challenge for his seat. The first-termer has a 37% approval rating, the lowest since his 2004 election.