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Mel Martinez, again, bats down FSU presidency rumors

Tallahassee rumors can be hard to quash, and just when you think they're done, they resurface. U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez wanting to be FSU president would be the prime example.

For months, there have been whispers that Sen. Martinez wants to exit the Senate before his term ends in 2010 and take the top FSU post. (Speculation was, that would leave the seat open for 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Governor Charlie Crist to appoint a lame duck, no-threat candidate or appoint himself and hence have an easier election bid against fellow Republican Marco Rubio.)

The whispers had died down until yesterday, when news broke that longtime FSU president T.K. Wetherell plans to retire from the post in the months to come. And sure enough, the Governor's Lounge and other Tallahassee gathering spots were again abuzz with speculation of Martinez swapping Capitol Hill for the Westcott Building on FSU's campus.

"Where is this coming from? I would love to know," Ken Lundberg, spokesman for Martinez, told the Times/Herald this morning. "The answer is no. He loves the university; however, he is not interested in that job."