‘Crystal-Clear on its Face’: DeSantis Does not Have to Resign to Run for President

Ever since Governor Ron DeSantis stormed his way to re-election, and even well before, American conservatives have been excited by the prospect of DeSantis making a 2024 run, and he won’t even need to resign as Governor to do it.

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Florida founder and chief legal counsel for the Ready for Ron PAC Lilian Rodríguez-Baz authored a guest column for Florida Politics, debunking the notion DeSantis would be forced to resign to run.

“As a lawyer, I look to the law, and on this point, the law is crystal-clear on its face: State officeholders do not need to quit their jobs in order to run for federal office — whether it’s the House, Senate, or presidency.”

 Florida Statute Section 99.012 has two relevant subsections, subsections 2 AND 3, according to Rodríguez-Baz. Rodríguez-Baz claims that those arguing that DeSantis must resign to run are engaging in” “legal gymnastics” and conflating the two sections to invent new meanings.

Subsection 2 clearly states no one can be a “candidate” for any two offices; local, state, or federal; at the same time. This alone would not prohibit DeSantis from running, as he’s the sitting Governor and no longer a candidate, and therefore would only be a candidate for one office, the Presidency. This rule did, however, trip up Senator Marco Rubio, as he had to wait to run for Senate in Florida until he officially ended his Presidential campaign.

Subsection 3, on the other hand, does apply to DeSantis, making it clear that an “officer” of the Florida government cannot hold another state-level or lower office. As Rodríguez-Baz explains, this doesn’t restrict a DeSantis 2024 run either.

 

“However, the Florida Legislature specifically and intentionally removed the word “federal” from the list of offices implicated in this section. In other words, there is no law that prevents DeSantis from holding the office of Governor of Florida while running for president at the same time. This isn’t even speculative: In 2018, then-Gov. Rick Scott didn’t have to “resign to run” — and win — his Senate seat. Under the terribly flawed interpretation now being promoted, Scott’s victory simply could not have happened.”

So, what’s motivating the misread? It may be a genuine misunderstanding of the law. Still, Rodríguez-Baz is convinced that, like so much else, it’s a partisan maneuver desperately aimed at taking the wind out of DeSantis’s sails.

 

Anti-DeSantis partisans, with their short memories, are so desperate to undermine the man poised to win the White House in 2024 (see: every poll) that they will resort to shoddy lawyering. Unsurprisingly, those accusing DeSantis of attempting to change the law in his favor, are the very ones re-writing clear legislative directives in order to mislead the public.


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