DeSantis Will Irrevocably Lose the Trust of the 4.6+ Million FL Voters Who Gave Him a Second Term. Here’s Why.

UPDATE: Florida

Title IX, Chapter 99, Section 99.012 of the Florida Statutes states:

(3)(a) 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. (b)The resignation is irrevocable. … (8) Subsections (3) and (4) do not apply to persons holding any federal office. Subsection (4) does not apply to an elected officer if the term of the office that he or she presently holds is scheduled to expire and be filled by election in the same primary and general election period as the federal office he or she is seeking.

*Note: In 2018, the Florida legislature expanded an exception to this rule. Prior to 2018, candidates for President and Vice President were exempt from resign-to-run laws. That exception was expanded to include all federal officials.[5] The text above reflects these changes.

There has been much speculation about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis running for president in 2024.

In the 2022 midterms DeSantis won 59.4% of the votes in his bid for re-election. For the first time in Florida election history DeSantis, a Republican, won Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. He won reelection with an astounding 4,614,307 votes.

Those who voted for DeSantis fully expect him to fulfill his term in office and continue his relentless and very successful campaign to Keep Florida Free.

At the end of his victory speech Governor DeSantis said,

Now, while our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.  I believe the survival of the American experiment requires a revival of true American principles.  Florida has proved that it can be done.  We offer a ray of hope that better days still lie ahead.  I am proud of our achievements in this state.  I am honored by your support, and I look forward to road ahead.  I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race and this first curve, and I have kept the faith.  We’ve accomplished more than anybody thought possible 4 years ago, but we’ve got so much more to do and I have only begun to fight.  God bless you all.  Thank you very much.  Thank you for a historic landslide victory.

The question is will Governor DeSantis “keep the faith” of the Floridians who gave him a second term, or will he abandon them to seek a higher federal office?

For DeSantis to run he must resign as governor on or about December 1st, 2023 and this resignation is “irrevocable.”

Florida’s Resign-to-Run Law

The Florida legislature in 2017 began the process of passing what is known as a “Resign-to-Run” law. On March 30th, 2018 then Governor Rick Scott signed Florida Statutes 99.012 into law.

Here are the key points of Florida Statues 99.012:

  1. The “resign-to-run law” essentially prohibits an elected or appointed “officer” from qualifying 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 the person presently holds.  (Section 99.012(3), Florida Statutes.)
  2. An “officer” is a person, whether elected or appointed, who has the authority to exercise the sovereign powers of the state pertaining to an office recognized under the State Constitution or laws of the state.  With respect to a municipality, an “officer” means a person, whether elected or appointed, who has the authority to exercise municipal power as provided by the State Constitution, state laws, or municipal charter.  (Section 99.012(1), Florida Statutes.)
  3. Florida case law further explains that an “officer” is one who exercises some portion of the sovereign power, either in making, executing or administering the laws and who derives his or her position from a duly and legally authorized election or appointment, whose duties are continuous in nature and defined by law, not contract.
  4. Examples of “officers” include, but are not limited to: mayors, city and county commissioners, state legislators, supervisors of elections, sheriffs, property appraisers, judges, school board members, superintendents of school, state attorneys and public defenders, municipal fire chiefs, medical examiners, and elected hospital board and airport authority members.
  5. The resignation must be submitted in writing at least 10 days prior to the first day of qualifying for the office the person intends to seek. (Section 99.012(3)(c), Florida Statutes.)
  6. The resignation must take effect no later than the earlier of the following dates: a)  The date the officer would take office, if elected; or b)  The date the officer’s successor is required to take office. (Section 99.012(3)(d), Florida Statutes.)

By law Governor DeSantis must submit an “irrevocable resignation” in order to run for president.

The Bottom Line

A “resign to run” law is a conflicts of interest law. Either DeSantis is governor of the state of Florida or he is running for president. Doing both is a political conflict of interest.

If DeSantis decides to run then his time and efforts will have to shift to his 2024 campaign if he intends to win the GOP nomination.

According to the Federal Election Commission website as of the publishing of this column there are 698 candidates from 20 parties running for president.

The GOP’s top candidate to resister is President Donald J. Trump. There have been multiple polls asking eligible voters about Trump and DeSantis candidacies here, here, here and here.

Given the provisions of Florida’s Resign-to-Run statues there are two possible outcomes:

  1. DeSantis wins the GOP nomination and then wins the 2024 Presidential election.
  2. DeSantis wins the GOP nomination and then loses the 2024 Presidential election.

If either #1 or #2 happens then Governor DeSantis would leave the governor’s mansion on January 20th, 2025.

Two years before the end of his current term as governor.

The question that Governor DeSantis must ask himself is will he irrevocably lose the trust of the 4.6+ million Florida voters who gave him a second term thereby losing the state of Florida, thereby allowing the Democrats to keep the White House.

Remember what Desantis said, “We’ve [the people of Florida] accomplished more than anybody thought possible 4 years ago, but we’ve got so much more to do and I have only begun to fight.

QUESTION: Will DeSantis keep his promise to “keep up the fight” for freedom in Florida or not?

ANSWER: Governor DeSantis, if he wants to run for president, has a prefect right to do so. However, he must “follow the law” and irrevocably resign first to prove his commitment.

DeSantis can’t have his cake and eat is too.

Any effort to tweak the Resign-to-Run law to favor one specific elected “official” destroys the entire premise of the law and its intent.

Any favoritism toward one elected official will inextricably result in a negative backlash and possibly split the GOP.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.



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5 replies
  1. Royal A Brown
    Royal A Brown says:

    Agree with this Article 100%. We helped DeSantis win in 2018 and win in a landslide in 2020 and we want him to stay in office as our Governor and live up to his promise of the Florida Freedom Agenda. He has done a great job of nullifying Federal edicts from Beijing Joe Biden and this is what he needs to continue to do.

    He can’t do this and run for POTUS at same time. Furthermore, most FL Conservatives are behind POTUS Trump in 2024. DeSantis should wait and run for POTUS in 2028 at which time he’ll have our full support again.

  2. Patriot
    Patriot says:

    The midterms and Desantis’ re-election were in 2022. Credibility of the entire piece is at stake when you can’t even get such a basic well known fact correct in your op-ed

  3. M E
    M E says:


    We WILL support a run for President AFTER he completes his term.
    THE more letters he receives , the more he will re-consider the best options.


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