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Another Martinez in the mix for Senate

Large_attorney_11 Add former U.S. Attorney Bob Martinez to the shortlist of names under consideration by Gov. Charlie Crist to serve the rest of Sen. Mel Martinez's term.

Martinez is a longtime friend of Crist and headed his transition team when he was elected in 2006. He's a partner in the Coral Gables law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson and serves on the Florida Board of Education and Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.

 Martinez is a Republican but gets good reviews from Democrats like state Sen. Dan Gelber, who worked for Martinez in the early 1990s.

"Bob has got extraordinary character and intelligence and is as current on the issues as anyone I know,'' Gelber said. "He's a good Republican, but more importantly, he's a good American."

A Cuban-American with a whiff of bi-partisanship and a background in law enforcement sounds like a safe and appealing choice for Crist. Sources closed to the governor say Martinez and Crist's former chief of staff, George LeMieux, are at the top of his list.