TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's bid for the U.S. Presidency had one hurdle in the way.
Prior to Wednesday, under Florida law, an elected official had to resign their position in order to run for another office. A First Coast News viewer asked if the governor had the power to change that.
Can a governor change Florida's Resign to Run law?
Florida Senate Bill 7050
University of North Florida Political Science Professor Michael Binder
WHAT WE FOUND
“It’s really a political expediency for the governor," said Binder. "If it’s inconvenient for them because they have eyes on national office. This is nothing new in Florida.”
Senate Bill 7050 passed both houses with Republican support at the end of April.
The bill exempts anyone looking to run for president or vice-president from the resign-to-run law. The law still applies to all other offices.
Binder points out there is a precedent for Resign to Run changing – in fact, it’s flip-flopped quite a bit through the years.
“If you look back to 2007-2008 timeframe when Charlie Crist was governor, there had been some rumors about him potentially being John McCain’s vice presidential pick," said Binder. "That didn’t happen, but the legislature at the time repealed the resign to run rule entirely. Governor Scott in 2018 put it back into place, now they’re making this carve out for the presidency.”
Senate Bill 7050 includes a series of changes to voting policies in Florida that will go into effect July 1st.
However, upon DeSantis signing the bill Wednesday, the Resign to Run rule was immediately overturned.