In 1987, Martin defeated incumbent Democrat Leslie Saunders for the 67th District House of Delegates seat, 51%-49%. In 1989, Saunders challenged Martin for the seat, but Martin won 55%-45%. Due to redistricting, Martin was redrawn into the 27th District in 1991, and won the House of Delegates seat unopposed, and was re-elected in 1993. In February 1994, Martin won a special election to the state Senate in the 11th District after Robert Russell resigned after being convicted of embezzlement. He received 75% of the vote in a four-way race. Martin was easily re-elected to the seat in 1995 (he was unopposed), 1999 (won 65%-35%), 2003 (unopposed), 2007 (received 63% of the vote in a four-way race), and 2011 (unopposed).
Martin made news in 2014 when he wrote a lengthy post on Facebook claiming that pregnant women are "hosts" who have no right to end their pregnancies via abortion. He later edited the post to replace "host" with "bearer of the child."
As of February 2014, his Virginia Senate website states, 'Steve was born in Chesterfield County, Virginia and has seven siblings.' Several political watchdog groups list Martin's only "Education" as a Virginia high school diploma from the Lynchburg Christian Academy, in Lynchburg, VA. He lists his religious affiliation as "Baptist" and his official website states, 'Steve is a member of South Richmond Rotary and [the] Swift Creek Baptist Church. He enjoys spending time with his sons and his two granddaughters, Olivia and Mckinley, and looks forward to welcoming his third grandchild in the near future.' According to Project Vote Smart, as of 2012 Martin was still married to wife Sharon, and they had two adult sons, Chad, and Nathan. The updated wording of the senator's personal webpage, the use of the singular personal pronoun "his third grandchild", vice "their third grandchild" indicates he is recently divorced. In the official website for the "Virginia Senate Republican Caucus" nearly every member lists his spouse and college alma mater: as of early 2014, the page for Martin omits any mention of a spouse or college education. Most Virginia state legislators hold "outside" jobs and Martin works in financial services, as a licensed insurance consultant and securities dealer, heading his own firm-- Martin Financial Services.