Florida GOP Seeks to Allow Governor DeSantis to Run for President Without Resigning

Florida Republicans are seeking to change state law to allow GOP Gov.[0] Ron DeSantis to run for president without having to leave office.[1] A modification has been made to SB 7050, a bill that is currently progressing towards the Florida State Senate, which exempts state-elected officials from being required to step down from their current positions if they decide to run for the positions of president or vice president.[2] As per the current regulations of the state, officials have to relinquish their current post if they opt to contest in an election for a new position, resulting in them being left without any official position if their candidacy is unsuccessful.[3]

Shortly before the anticipated Republican presidential primary, where he will face off against former President Donald Trump, DeSantis has made this move. The primary is expected to be highly contested.[1] Though falling short of making an announcement, DeSantis has been touring politically relevant areas of the United States, holding what increasingly looks like rallies and giving speeches that appear to pitch his case to be president over that of his main rival.[4] Should DeSantis secure the GOP nomination and be elected president, he would need to relinquish the remaining two years of his governorship.[5] He is prohibited from running for a third term due to term limits.[6]

Although DeSantis, a member of the Republican party, has not made an official announcement about running for President, it is rumored that he will do so in the coming spring season.[7] After being inaugurated as the governor of Florida in 2019, the ex-congressman has emerged as a promising figure in the GOP. His resounding victory in the recent midterm elections has made him a potential leader of the party, and many are already considering him for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.[3]

In 2008, the Florida state government eliminated the need for resignation when then-Governor Charlie Crist was a potential running mate for John McCain.[8] In 2018, the requirement was reinstated.[3] The bill would guarantee that DeSantis could participate in the 2024 presidential race without stepping down as governor, as it exempts presidential and vice-presidential candidates from this obligation.[5]

Florida Democrats have criticized the move, with Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried telling Politico, “This is just the latest example of Florida Republicans enabling DeSantis’ pursuit of his national ambitions as he fails Floridians on the issues that affect them most.”[9] The amendment is part of a larger election overhaul bill that is currently making its way through the Florida State Senate.[3]

0. “Legislature set to remove hurdle to DeSantis WH bid” Lake City Reporter, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.lakecityreporter.com/regional/legislature-set-remove-hurdle-desantis-wh-bid

1. “Florida GOP lawmakers ready move allowing DeSantis to run for president without resigning” POLITICO, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/04/25/florida-gop-law-change-desantis-presidential-run-00093773

2. “Bill changes ‘resign-to-run’ to exempt presidential candidates as DeSantis mulls 2024” Florida’s Voice, 25 Apr. 2023, https://flvoicenews.com/bill-changes-resign-to-run-to-exempt-presidential-candidates-as-desantis-mulls-2024/

3. “Florida Bill Would Allow DeSantis to Run in 2024 Without Resigning” Newsweek, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/florida-bill-would-allow-desantis-run-2024-without-resigning-1796666

4. “Florida legislature to consider proposal that would allow DeSantis to launch 2024 bid” Washington Examiner, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/florida-legislature-desantis-2024-bid

5. “Senate set to amend resign-to-run law, allow DeSantis to run for President without stepping down” The Capitolist, 25 Apr. 2023, https://thecapitolist.com/senate-amends-resign-to-run-law-allows-desantis-to-run-for-president-without-stepping-down/

6. “Will DeSantis have to resign to run for president? Lawmakers want to change rules.” Tampa Bay Times, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2023/04/25/florida-desantis-legislature-resign-trump-president/

7. “DeSantis could run for president without resigning under Florida Senate amendment” Yahoo News, 25 Apr. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/desantis-could-run-president-without-203734136.html

8. “Florida state Republicans try to change “resign-to-run” law ahead of possible DeSantis 2024 bid” CBS News, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/desantis-florida-state-republicans-try-to-change-resign-to-run-law-2024-presidential-bid

9. “Florida lawmakers to clear path for DeSantis to run for president without resigning as governor” Fox News, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/florida-lawmakers-clear-path-desantis-run-president-resigning-governor

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