WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez will step down from his Florida Senate seat following an upcoming congressional recess, senior Republican sources said Friday.
The unidentified sources said the Florida Republican informed his staff during a morning meeting Friday that he would not return to the Senate after the August recess, Politico reported.
"This was a closely-held and guarded secret and came as a surprise to all of us," one of the sources said.
The decision by Martinez, 62, comes months after the senator announced he would not be seeking re-election to the Senate in 2010.
Politico said since his December announcement regarding re-election, Martinez had maintained he would serve out his congressional term.
CNN said Florida state law allows Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to name Martinez's successor in the Senate. That successor will serve until the next general election.