WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — In what could be a sign of things to come, the new republican majority leaders for Florida's House and Senate are talking about changing state election laws. Those rules generally require candidates to resign from their current position in order to run for another.
Florida Republican leaders say they’re willing to change state law so Gov. Ron DeSantis could – should he decide to - run for president without having to quit his day job.
“I think that is a great idea. I think we’ll look at that," said House Speaker Paul Renner Tuesday.
"Well if Speaker Renner thinks it’s a good idea, then I think it’s a good idea," echoed Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.
Both Republican Florida Sen. Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner say they’re willing to change Florida Election laws to benefit Governor Ron DeSantis should he choose to run for president while serving his second term in Tallahassee.
Current Florida law would require him to resign as governor ahead of qualifying as a presidential candidate — if winning the new office would overlap with serving out the term of his current one. Which it would.
“If an individual who is from Florida, who is a Florida governor running for president, I think he should be allowed to do it, I really do. That’s an honor and a privilege. So it is a good idea.” said Passidomo.
In 2008, Florida law was changed under then-Gov. Charlie Crist to remove the resignation requirement for federal office. At the time, Crist was being seriously considered as a runningmate for John McCain.
Then, in 2018 – legislators restored the resignation rule.
State House Speaker Renner pointed to precedent to change it back and, while answering a reporter's question, said he’s being open and transparent about the move allowing DeSantis to remain in office should he decide to run.
DeSantis has yet to say if he will run for president in 2024. If he were to run and win, Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez would serve out his term through 2026.
Nunez, who served in the legislature for over a decade, would be Florida's first female governor.