Patriots: For over 26 years, your generosity has made it possible to offer The Patriot Post without a subscription fee to military personnel, students, and those with limited means. Please support the 2023 Year-End Campaign today.

April 28, 2023

DeSantis and Resign-to-Run

The Florida Election Code suggests the resign-to-run law does not apply to a run for the presidency.

This past week, a rumor started that former President Donald Trump would go to Tallahassee and personally convince the Florida legislature not to amend Section 99.012 of the Florida election code. That code provision requires elected officials to resign their present office if they wish to run for another office with a term that overlaps. Many states have resign-to-run laws, but Florida’s does not appear to apply in Gov. Ron DeSantis’s situation.

In fairness, the Florida legislature at one point amended the law to make it very clear it did not apply. When Charlie Crist was governor and thinking of running, the legislature changed the law. Florida then-Gov. Rick Scott and the legislature changed the law back in 2018.

Even then, there was uncertainty about whether the law applies to runs for the presidency. Let’s look at the relevant text. F.S. Section 99.012(4) states: (4)(a)?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; (b)?The resignation is irrevocable;501(c)?The resignation must be submitted at least 10 days before the first day of qualifying for the office he or she intends to seek; (d)?The written resignation must be effective no later than the earlier of the following dates: 1.?The date the officer would take office, if elected; or 2.?The date the officer’s successor is required to take office.

The whole of section four must be read together. An officer who qualifies for federal office must resign his present office and the written letter of resignation must be effective no later than the date the officer would take office, if elected. In other words, DeSantis would not be allowed to serve as both governor and president and would have to resign effective Jan. 20, 2025.

However, we need to dig further. Notice the word “qualifies.” Qualifying is an act wherein a candidate pays a fee and signs an oath declaring their run for a particular office. Florida Statute, or as it is legally cited, F.S. Section 99.021 et. seq. outlines the process by which candidates must qualify.

F.S. Section 99.061?generally requires qualifying for “nomination or election to federal, state, county, or district office.” F.S. Section 99.063 covers qualifying more specifically for governor and lieutenant governor. F.S. Section 99.081?covers qualifying for the United States Senate more specifically. F.S. Section 99.091 covers qualifying for the United States House of Representatives more specifically.

There is no Florida statute on qualifying for president or vice president. In fact, under Florida law, neither the president nor the vice president goes through the qualifying process. The presidential process is covered by F.S. Section 103.101, which has an entirely different procedure that does not involve qualifying for the office.

Democrats and Trump can argue that because the Florida legislature once amended F.S. Section 99.012 to clarify that section did not apply to presidential races and then amended it back to the old language, it means the section does apply. DeSantis’ team, backed by the Florida senate’s reading and an old opinion of the Florida attorney general, can argue the presidential nomination process is not a qualifying event and, even if it were, the statute says DeSantis need not resign until Jan. 20, 2025, because that would be the date he would take office.

The Florida House had introduced a measure to clarify the language. DeSantis’ team and the Florida Senate do not believe the language is necessary. Most election lawyers I have spoken to on the matter believe the law is inapplicable to a presidential run.

Considering the Florida Election Code’s provisions on qualifying make mention of all the races in which qualifying is necessary and the presidency is not listed among them, it strongly suggests the resign-to-run law does not apply to a run for the presidency. Many people, myself included, had thought the resign-to-run law would have to be fixed. A deeper examination makes me think I and many others have been wrong on the issue.

Also, if Trump really does try to force the issue, it does suggest he fears DeSantis’ entry into the race.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.