Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is still refusing to openly state an intent to run for President of the United States in 2024.
But the preparations are taking place in plain sight — including his state’s legislature taking steps to change state law so that he can run without having to resign his current position.
DeSantis is walking a fine line as he (potentially) prepares to pose a threat to Donald Trump’s unwarranted possessiveness of the presidency..
Aside from a deer-in-the-headlights moment in a pre-election debate and his continued caution about publicly declaring his intentions, he doesn’t seem afraid to move forward.
In fact, the current step, done not directly by DeSantis but by Republicans newly sworn into the state legislature, is admittedly calculated to clear a path.
It’s called the ‘resign-to-run law’ in Florida.
It essentially states exactly what its title implies: if an elected official in Florida wants to run for a different office, they first have to resign from the current position, submitting a letter of resignation at least ten days before qualifying for the new office.
Resignations must be effective no later than the date that the term of the new office would begin.
If a candidate isn’t certain of his future — say, for instance, he would likely be running against a party leader who has openly stated an intention to damage that candidate’s reputation — then that resignation risks the candidate finding himself holding no office at all.
For DeSantis’ sake, though, legislators say they’d like to change the law, so he can stage a presidential run without taking that risk. The law has previously been altered or shifted as other candidates have needed, so he wouldn’t be the first to benefit. Politico reports:
Both House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), both of whom were sworn into their new posts on Tuesday, agreed it would be a “good idea” to make it clear that DeSantis would not have to resign if he wound up becoming the GOP nominee…“If an individual who is Florida governor is running for president, I think he should be allowed to do it,” Passidomo told reporters.
The resignation, though it must be submitted at least ten days before the first date of qualifying for another office, doesn’t have to take effect until the candidate takes his new office, but it’s not revokable.
That means that DeSantis would, in theory, not have to step down from the office of Governor until January 20th, 2025, if he won the presidency (assuming he didn’t step down to give himself time to campaign).
But if he lost, even in the primary, he could not simply revoke his resignation and continue as Governor.