DeSantis prelude? Florida poised to reconsider election laws

The election law changes will receive a committee hearing on April 4.

Published: March 31, 2023 4:03pm

Updated: March 31, 2023 9:49pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis cannot officially run for president while remaining in his post under state law, but state officials may be working to change that.

A proposed bill listing on the Senate website indicates that "The legislature intends to revise laws relating to elections." While the listing specifies no policies, WESH noted that the legislature previously permitted GOP Govs. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist to seek federal office while remaining governor and suggested that an accommodation for DeSantis is likely.

The listing appeared at 6:08 p.m. on Thursday, as reports emerged that a grand jury had voted to indict former President Donald Trump. The election law changes will receive a committee hearing on April 4.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, on Thursday evening indicated that the bill would address an array of election issues.

"We have a myriad of things that we’ve been looking into. It’s going to be pretty robust. I think it’s well drafted and Sen. [Danny] Burgess has been working really hard on it. It will be a good bill," she said. Passidomo denied that the "resign to run" component of election law would be included.

"We’re still researching whether or not we really need it. We just haven’t had time to do it. I can only do one thing at a time. We’ll do that next," she continued.

"Any officer who qualifies for federal public office must resign from the office he or she presently holds if the terms, or any part thereof, run concurrently with each other," reads existing Florida law.

Re-elected in 2022, DeSantis's term as government will not expire until early 2027, meaning that a successful presidential run would see his new official term overlap by roughly two years. Under present law, he would therefore be required to resign as governor.

While DeSantis remains Trump's most formidable challenger in terms of polling, recent surveys have shown the Florida governor falling behind Trump by considerable margins.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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