Former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) is supporting business Bruce O'Donoghue in the GOP race to face Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.).

Martinez penned a fundraising appeal for O'Donoghue, which went out Monday morning.

It turns out the recently retired senator coached O'Donoghue on a YMCA basketball team, and the two have seen their paths cross elsewhere since then. Martinez said Republicans must nominate O'Donoghue.

"I don't normally write to ask for your support, but this race is important," Martinez said. "Bruce is the only man to beat Alan Grayson and stop the nonsense coming from Washington these days."

O'Donoghue faces a primary with state Rep. Kurt Kelly and 2008 primary runner-up Todd Long. He also has the backing of former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.