"It's hard to believe," former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez said. But it has been 25 years since the former Tampa mayor, restaurateur and teachers' union leader was inaugurated the 40th governor of Florida. Martinez, now a lobbyist with the law firm Holland & Knight, and his wife, former First Lady Mary Jane Martinez, were honored with a resolution at Wednesday's meeting of Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet.
Martinez expressed his gratitude and his joy at having held high office. "There's all kinds of Floridas out there with all kinds of needs," he said.
Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Tampa native, presented the resolution, and recalled eating many times as a youngster at the Martinez family's restaurant, Cafe Sevilla. She also said Mary Jane Martinez was one of her high school teachers.
Scott will hold a reception at the Governor's Mansion Wednesday honoring Martinez, a one-term governor and only the second Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. Friends say many of the ex-governor's top aides were expected at the reception, including J.M. "Mac" Stipanovich, Brian Ballard, Pete Dunbar, Bill Bryant and others. Former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, a Democrat elected statewide with Martinez in that same year of 1986, also is expected to attend.