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Resign-to-run bill heads to Rick Scott’s desk

A bill that would require public office holders to resign before running for federal office could soon become law.

The House passed the legislation (SB 186) late Wednesday night, sending it to Gov. Rick Scott‘s desk for approval.

The bill would require elected Florida officials to resign from their offices, effective no later than the day before the federal office they seek would start.

The resign-to-run requirement only applies to officials seeking a federal term that would overlap with their current term.

Florida law already provides the same requirement for officeholders seeking other elected local or state seats.

The rule used to apply to federal seats, but in 2007 GOP lawmakers modified the rule to allow then-Gov. Charlie Crist to run for vice president without giving up the governor’s mansion.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson, passed the Senate in January with the approval of just four Democrats. Similarly, most House Democrats voted against the bill Wednesday night. It ultimately passed with 87 yeas and 27 nays.

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Florida Politics’ Drew Wilson contributed reporting.

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Danny McAuliffe is a journalist for floridapolitics.com

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