Florida republican, Senator Mel Martinez, has decided to leave the senate permanently in the next few weeks following his earlier announcement that he would no longer be running for re-election in 2010.

Mr. Martinez, 62, wrote that my priorities have always been my faith, my family and my country, and at this stage in my life, and after nearly 12 years of public service in Florida and Washington, it's time I return to Florida and my family. The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Martinez is expected to formally announce his resignation in Florida on Friday afternoon.

Even though Mr. Martinez had said he would not seek a second term in the Senate, it was widely assumed that he would finish serving his current one through the 2010 elections.

Florida Governor, Charlie Crist, will name someone to serve the remainder of the term.