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Florida’s 'resign-to-run' law could change ahead of possible DeSantis presidential bid

A change could allow the governor to keep his current position if he decides to campaign for president.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida legislators said on Tuesday they’d consider amending the state’s "resign-to-run" law, which could allow Gov. Ron DeSantis to keep his current position if he seeks a presidential nomination.

"I think it’s a great idea," House Speaker Paul Renner, (R-District 24) said. "I think we’ll look at that. We’ll look at election law generally."

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-District 28) said she also supports the idea.

"When you think about it, if an individual, who is from Florida, who is the Florida governor, is running for president, I think he should be allowed to do it," she said. "I really do."

A spokesperson for Renner said his team will be looking into clarifying some of the resign-to-run law language to eliminate confusion.

Political analyst Lars Hafner says he expected the issue to surface.

"Once the Republicans got the super-majority in the legislature, I thought this was a foregone conclusion that this is the area they would move into because many of the Republican legislators want to curry favor with Ron DeSantis right now because they believe he's going to be the next president of the United States," Hafner said. "And of course, when he's president, he's going to look back fondly on those that helped him through this process. So, I believe that this is the direction the legislature will move."

If so, Hafner says the governor’s base would welcome the move should he run for president but holding onto the position while on the campaign trail might not sit well with all Floridians.

"I think they would see him as losing a little bit of the focus," he said. "But again, that would not be his base. His base will be very excited about this. But overall Floridians might question when he does this, why he's doing it so early, and is it the right thing for all Floridians?"

Hafner says this would not be the first time lawmakers considered changes to the resign-to-run law. The legislature amended the law in 2008 under former Gov. Charlie Crist. Lawmakers reversed those changes a few years later.

Any changes to the law would have to make their way through the legislature.

Emerald Morrow is an investigative reporter with 10 Tampa Bay. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You can also email her at emorrow@10tampabay.com.

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