TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former Gov. Jeb Bush says he won't run for the U.S. Senate in 2010 to replace the retiring Mel Martinez. Bush made the announcement Tuesday, saying "now is not the right time to return to elected office."
The president's younger brother served as governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and remains a popular figure in the state. His announcement clears the field for several other potential Republican candidates who had said they wouldn't challenge him.
Bush won bipartisan praise for leading the state through eight hurricanes over a two-year period. He used standardized testing to overhaul the education system, was credited with making government more efficient and lowered taxes.
Martinez announced last month that he wouldn't seek a second six-year term.