MIAMI, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., says he is running for the Florida U.S. Senate seat that will become open in 2010.
Announcing his bid Tuesday in Miami, Meek became the first serious contender for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican, who has announced he will not seek re-election, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
"This race is not about me, it is about Floridians. I am running for Florida and I am asking Floridians to run with us in this race," he told the newspaper.
Political observers said if he wins, Meek, just starting his fourth term in Congress, would make history as the first African-American elected statewide in Florida and one of only a handful ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
Other Democrats considering a Senate bid include Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach and U.S. Reps. Ron Klein and Allen Boyd, the Miami Herald said.