Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has yet to say whether he will run for president in 2024, but the GOP-dominated state Legislature isn’t taking any chances.
A Republican state senator on Tuesday introduced an amendment to a much broader election review bill that would help clear the way for DeSantis to launch a campaign, exempting anyone running for president or vice president from the state’s resignation law. apply.
The amendment, introduced by state Sen. Travis Hutson, would «clarify existing law» that someone running for president or vice president would not be hampered by state rules that generally stipulate that an elected official has to resign state office to run for federal office. office.
«I’m a little biased because I think Governor DeSantis has done a good job, so I just want to make it clear that if he’s not the Republican nominee [for president] he can come back,» Hutson told NBC News.
The amendment will be considered by the full Florida Senate during a plenary session on Wednesday, but is expected to win the approval of both houses of the state Legislature.
DeSantis has long been believed to be considering a 2024 presidential run, rumors that have only been amplified by the creation of a pro-DeSantis super PAC that quickly raised $30 million, and the governor hosts events in early US states. primaries like New Hampshire and South Carolina. .
However, there have been lingering questions about whether the state’s opt-out law would hinder his national rise. Before the March start of Florida’s 2023 legislative session, Republican leaders said they planned to clarify the law so DeSantis could run for president if he wanted to, but with just two weeks left in that session, the language making the adjustment is yet to come. had not been put in Game.
That changed Tuesday when Hutson filed his amendment to SB 7050, a sweeping election bill that, among other things, would allow political entities to file campaign finance reports less frequently, increase the frequency with which supervisors Local polling stations must remove dead or ineligible voters from voter rolls, and increases fines for groups that register voters in violation of state law.
DeSantis’ office did not respond to a request for comment.
There has been debate about whether state law needed to change for DeSantis to make a bid for the White House in 2024, but Hutson said it was important to make sure there was clarity.
«There should be no question,» he said.
The political team of former President Donald Trump, who has already declared his candidacy for 2024, has made the fight for the resignation of the candidacy a theme. In March, a pro-Trump super PAC called MAGA Inc. filed a complaint with the Florida Ethics Commission alleging that DeSantis’ national book tour events sometimes resembled political rallies, likening the momentum to him competing. for the presidency without formally declaring – what they argued was a violation of Florida’s running waiver law.
MAGA Inc. alleged that DeSantis’s book tour was a «shadow» presidential campaign. So far, the commission has not considered the complaint or taken any formal action.