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Florida GOP set to remove hurdle to DeSantis White House bid

State Republicans filed on Tuesday a proposal that would exempt presidential candidates from Florida’s so-called resign to run law, which prohibits elected officials from qualifying as a candidate for another office that would overlap with their current term

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, bids farewell to journalists after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the latter's official residence in Tokyo, April 24, 2023. (KIMIMASA MAYAMA/POOL (AP)

Florida Republicans are poised to change state law to allow GOP Governor Ron DeSantis to run for president without having to leave office, according to legislation filed Tuesday.

The proposal would exempt presidential candidates from Florida’s so-called resign to run law, which prohibits elected officials from qualifying as a candidate for another office that would overlap with their current term.

The legislative move was anticipated, but its formal introduction marks one of the clearest signals yet that DeSantis plans to run. He is expected to announce after the state’s legislative session ends in early May.

Republicans, who control a supermajority in the statehouse, have largely focused on the governor’s conservative priorities during the current legislative session, approving bills that will likely form much of the governor’s platform when he launches his White House bid.

The resign to run exemption was filed by a GOP ally of DeSantis as an amendment to a larger Republican election law package expected to reach the Senate floor this week. Republican leaders of the House and Senate have both expressed their willingness to change the law.

DeSantis is currently overseas as part of an international trade mission to Japan, South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom.

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