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Senate approves extending ‘resign to run'

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Senate on Wednesday easily passed a measure that would extend the state’s “resign to run” requirements for elected officials who seek higher offices.

The bill (SB 186), filed by Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, would require state and local officials to submit resignations before qualifying to run for federal offices such as the U.S. House or U.S. Senate.

State law already includes such a requirement for officials who decide to run for other state or local offices.

Under the bill, federal office-seekers would have to submit their resignations at least 10 days before the first day of qualifying.

The resignations would become effective on the date the candidates would take office if elected or the date the candidates’ successors would take office.

The resign-to-run requirement would not apply to candidates whose terms in their state or local offices expire at the same time as the federal offices would be filled.

Senators voted 27-7 to approve the bill, with opposition from seven Democrats -- Randolph Bracy of Orlando, Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens, Gary Farmer of Fort Lauderdale, Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg, Linda Stewart of Orlando and Victor Torres of Orlando.

Also, Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, initially was registered as voting for the bill but changed his vote to a negative after the roll call, according to Senate records.

An identical House bill (HB 105), filed by Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, has unanimously cleared two House panels and is ready for consideration by the full House.