In Midst of Trump Indictment, Florida Legislature Filed Bill to Permit DeSantis to Run for President
In Midst of Trump Indictment, Florida Legislature Filed Bill to Permit DeSantis to Run for President

By Dan M. Berger

A Florida Senate bill filed on Thursday at 6:08 p.m.—minutes after news of former President Donald Trump’s indictment in Manhattan broke—is the “resign-to-run” bill that would permit Gov. Ron DeSantis to keep his post if he runs for president.

Under current state law, DeSantis would have to resign his post—effective later but irrevocably—if he qualifies to run for president. The state law applies to all local, state, and federal candidates. However, it is unclear how exactly it would work for a presidential candidate—running first in multiple state presidential primaries.

DeSantis has so far not declared his candidacy for president. One condition was seen as the legislature—with Republicans controlling both chambers with supermajorities—needing to act first to change the law. The legislature is in session until May 5.

A Florida legislator confirmed to The Epoch Times that Senate Bill 7050, filed on March 30, is, in fact, the resign-to-run bill. The legislator added there is no House companion bill, and the text will be added on April 3.

Former President Donald Trump with Gov. Ron DeSantis at Southwest Florida International Airport on Oct. 16, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

The text, as yet, doesn’t say much. It does not yet have a title and notes it’s a “preliminary draft.” It would have to be amended with much greater detail. Submitted for the consideration of the Committee on Ethics and Elections, the text currently states, “An act relating to elections, providing legislative intent, providing an effective date. Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida, Section 1. The legislature intends to revise laws relating to elections. Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.”

DeSantis was reelected as governor in November 2022 with a landslide majority and inaugurated on Jan. 3, 2023. He told Fox News on Feb. 20 that any announcement on his candidacy would come after the two-month legislative decision concluded.

“We’re going to sell some books, we’re going to spread the message of Florida. And then on March 8, I have our legislative session that’s kicking off,” DeSantis told the hosts of “Fox & Friends.” He referred to his book, “The Courage To Be Free,” published on Feb. 28.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promotes his book at a book tour speech in Smyrna, Ga. on March 30, 2023. (Phil Mistry/The Epoch Times.)

“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” he added. “This is going to be the most productive Legislative Session we have had across the board and I think people are going to be really excited. … So those are what we’re going to be doing over these next few months as we get beyond that, then we can decide from there.”

DeSantis’s book tour has allowed him to act like a candidate without officially declaring for office, traveling to numerous states, including ones critical for presidential candidates like Iowa. His speeches at them, such as one he gave in Smyrna, Ga. on March 30, sound a lot like campaign speeches.

He touts the state’s strong record under his leadership, including bold moves to keep the state open during the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging “woke” initiatives in the schools, workplaces, and elsewhere. He contrasts them with leadership in blue states and the President Joe Biden White House.

His book tour, entitled And To The Republic, is separate from his taxpayer-funded governor’s office operation, and the two strive to maintain a public image of separation. Different staffs manage his public appearances, depending upon whether the event is state business or a promotion of his book.


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