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Mel Martinez Biography »
Melquíades Rafael Martínez Ruiz, usually known as Mel Martinez (born October 23, 1946), is a former United States senator from Florida and served as chairman of the Republican Party from November 2006 until October 19, 2007, the first Latino to serve as chairman of a major party. Previously, Martínez served as the 12th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George W. Bush. Martínez is a Cuban-American and Roman Catholic. He announced he was resigning as chairman of the Republican National Committee on October 19, 2007. He is an honorary initiate of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity through the Eta Rho Chapter at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.