Gov. Ron DeSantis may make a run for the White House in 2024 while keeping his post as Governor of Florida under a new measure passed last month by the Florida Legislature. DeSantis’ gubernatorial term will end in January 2027.
According to CS/SB7050, which was introduced on April 11 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-St. Augustine), “Any person seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States is not subject to the requirements of chapter 99, 1371 Florida Statutes, which govern candidate qualifying…”
Under Chapter 99, 1371 of Florida Statutes, “No officer may qualify as a candidate for another state, district, county, or municipal public office if the terms or any part thereof run concurrently with each other without resigning from the office he or she presently holds.”
Members of Florida’s State Senate passed the bill on April 26 by a vote of 28 to 12. Members of the state’s House of Representatives passed it on April 28 by a vote of 76- 34. Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) was unavailable to comment on the legislation.
Democrat Rep. Angela Nixon (D-Jacksonville) denounced the Legislature for passing the bill.
“We in this body are doing the governor’s bidding,” Nixon reportedly said. “He needs to resign to run if he wants to run for president, period.”
While the Legislature has been pondering the measure, DeSantis has decided to play it cool when it comes to answering questions about potentially challenging former President Donald Trump for a shot at the Oval Office. He has declined to specify exactly when, where and if he might announce his candidacy for the Presidency.
Even so, he has made high-profile visits to the key primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and Michigan and has recently undertaken an international trade mission to Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the UK.
In addition to removing the statutory roadblock to a possible Presidential run by DeSantis, CS/SB7050 includes several changes in Florida’s elections regulations, including requiring the Secretary of State to provide election supervisors with formal signature matching training, and requiring that third-party organizations notify the Florida Division of Elections in which general election cycle they are registering individuals to vote.
The measure also requires that election supervisors announce drop box locations by 30 days before elections and prohibits those drop boxes from being moved once their locations have been announced.
The conservative group, Heritage Action praised the legislation for “enhancing election integrity.”
“By passing SB 7050, the Florida Legislature voted to strengthen its election integrity and ensure voters are able to have their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Janae Stracke, vice president of field operations for the organization. “Specifically, SB 7050 prevents voter disenfranchisement, improves voter roll maintenance, and ensures only legal votes are counted.”
Once DeSantis signs CS/SB7050, the legislation becomes effective on July 1.