Florida allies are changing the law so that Governor DeSantis can stay in his role while running for president

Republicans in the Florida legislature have unveiled a measure that would make it easier for Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president. 

State Sen. Travis Hudson, a Republican of St. Augustine, altered language on Tuesday to the so-called “Resign to Run” bill that would allow DeSantis to maintain office if he runs for president — or even for vice president.

Under current Florida law, there’s some question over whether DeSantis would have to resign his post as governor, but should he need to then that would leave him unable to return to his post even if he eventually lost the presidency. 

The amendment is part of a broader elections reform bill. It comes on the same day that President Joe Biden announced his reelection bid and as former President Trump is escalating his attacks against DeSantis, who is widely expected to announce a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

The former president’s campaign has already accused DeSantis of being in violation of the “Resign to Run” law through his book tour stops that began two months ago. The campaign also bashed DeSantis in an email circulated to reporters Tuesday, with an image headlined “Never in Town,” that criticized the governor for being on a foreign trip and book tour while Florida lawmakers were in session. 

The law had been changed before

There’s precedent in Florida for changing the election law. The legislature loosened the law in 2008 when then-Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican, was a running mate contender for GOP presidential candidate John McCain — but then changed it back in 2010.

It’s not clear whether DeSantis would want to hold down the grueling task of running for president while also leading the third-largest state in the US, along with being a spouse to Florida first lady Casey DeSantis and parent to three young children 6 and younger.

“I’ve got different obligations and it’s not the easiest thing in the world to go through and I also want to make sure that I have a very clear rationale for doing what I’m doing,” DeSantis told British TV personality Piers Morgan in March. 

DeSantis resigned from the US House when he ran for governor. If he were to resign the governorship then Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez would replace him, becoming the first woman to become governor of Florida.

Photo by: Angel Cristobal / South Press Independent Newspaper

Note: This briefing news was written with fragments from the original story by kleonard@insider.com (Kimberly Leonard)


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