The Phoenix Flyer

Ron DeSantis quits Congress to devote full time to governor’s race

By: - September 10, 2018 12:22 pm
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis. Credit: Congressional website.

With eight weeks to go before Election Day, Ron DeSantis is quitting his day job as a U.S. Representative to devote all of his energies to running for governor in Florida.

“As the Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, it is clear to me that I will likely miss the vast majority of our remaining session days for this Congress,” DeSantis wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday. “Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to accept a salary. In order to honor my principles and protect the taxpayer, I officially resign from the House of Representatives effective immediately.”

DeSantis has served in Congress representing Florida’s 6th Congressional district that stretches from the southern Jacksonville suburbs to New Smyrna Beach (including Daytona Beach) since 2012.

Although there are eight weeks to go before the election, there are only 15 days where the House is scheduled to be in session, according to the House of Representative schedule.

In his letter to Ryan, DeSantis noted how he has worked to protect the taxpayers in his district since he was elected, how he rejected his congressional pension, turned down the healthcare subsidy for members of Congress and fought against a Congressional pay raise.

“I believe members of Congress should not be treated any differently than those they govern,” he writes. “I’ve done my best to live these principles; I refused my pay during government shutdowns and have slept in my office to cut costs and be a more effective legislator.”

DeSantis is running against Democrat Andrew Gillum in the governor’s race. Gillum serves as the mayor of Tallahassee and has not indicated as of yet that he will step down from his job, where he is term-limited in November.

It’s not unprecedented for an elected official to resign from his position while running for higher office. Most notably, former U.S.  Senator Bob Dole resigned from office while running against Bill Clinton for president in June of 1996, five months before the general election.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.