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Florida state Republicans try to change "resign-to-run" law ahead of possible DeSantis 2024 bid

A Republican Florida state senator filed an amendment Tuesday that could eliminate one logistical hurdle for the state's governor, Ron DeSantis, should he decide to run for president in 2024. 

Florida State Senator Travis Hutson filed an amendment to an elections bill in the state Senate to change the language of the "resign to run" law so that the resignation requirement would not apply to "Persons seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States."

Currently, under Florida law, a public official may not run for another office with a term of service that overlaps the official's current position without sending a resignation letter.

In DeSantis' case, that letter would have to be sent 10 days before Florida's presidential qualification deadline in the beginning of December. 

His resignation would be irrevocable and take effect the day the president-elect is inaugurated in 2025, even if DeSantis were to lose in the primary or general election. 

"The amendments made to s. 99.012, Florida Statutes, by this act are intended to clarify existing law," Hutson's amendment states. 

The state repealed the "resign-to-run" law in 2007, when then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist was on the short list to be 2008 GOP nominee John McCain's running mate. Former Republican Governor and Senator Rick Scott signed a law in 2018 that reactivated this requirement.

If the amendment passes, it would take effect July 1. Discussion and debate of the amendment and overall election law bill will take place Wednesday, with a potential vote the same day or Thursday. 

Florida state Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Republican, said in late March that she was still researching whether changes to the resign-to-run law were needed. 

DeSantis, who is traveling in Asia for an international business trade mission, has said he wouldn't decide on a 2024 presidential run until after the legislative session ends in early May. As part of a tour to promote his new book and what he dubs as the "Florida Blueprint," DeSantis has visited all four early presidential primary states this year: Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  

"I got reelected in November. We had a big landslide win," DeSantis told the Nikkei Asia media outlet while in Tokyo on Tuesday. "No announcements prior to the end of the legislative session. So, just stay tuned."

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