Lenny Curry: Honor the spirit of citizen leaders with stricter ‘resign to run’ law
Businessman leader leading a large group of people. Low poly style. Society and business world. Conceptual 3D illustration

Businessman leader leading a large group of people.
'We are a nation founded by citizen leaders.'

In just a few months, I will conclude my second, 4-year term serving as the Mayor of Florida’s largest city, Jacksonville.

During these 8 years, it has been an honor and privilege to serve, but as a firm supporter of term limits, I respect that my time in this office will soon conclude.

Before running for office, I worked as an entrepreneur and a citizen volunteer in politics and public roles. These experiences instilled in me the belief that elected office at the local level is meant to be a pause in one’s private life to offer a new perspective to the body politic and public service to my neighbors with a limited tenure in local government.

Too often though, we see some who move from one elected city office to the next with no return to private life. While there are good and honorable people who choose this path, I believe years and sometimes decades of concurrent service strung together by running for the next local office, while still serving in another, is contrary to the intent of term limits.

It can also provide strength of incumbency that creates an advantage of access to a select few and diminishes the ability of private citizens to achieve elected office.

To remedy this and give voters in the March Jacksonville municipal election a voice, I filed legislation yesterday that asks our City Council to approve a voter referendum on this issue.

My proposal would give voters a chance to express support for a stricter “resign to run” law so those already serving in a local elected office leave that office immediately to qualify as a candidate to campaign for their next desired office. My proposal is focused on the level of government most impactful to Jacksonville, local offices here.

Jacksonville is unique as a consolidated government that is governed by a state-adopted charter. While I would prefer that the voters be voting on a direct and explicit change to our charter, there are questions raised by decades-old legal opinions that might challenge this proposal without statutory changes in Tallahassee.

That is why the referendum is to be added as a straw ballot and give local voters a chance to voice their support.

With yesterday’s filing to City Council, this proposal would be able to meet the timeline for inclusion in Jacksonville’s March first-election. I am hopeful the Jacksonville City Council will move forward on that timeline for our city to voice their will in March.

With Council passage, and voter approval in March, I would then work with state leaders to ensure any action they require to allow for revision of Jacksonville’s Charter to accomplish this important result.

We are a nation founded by citizen leaders. Private citizens at the local level quite literally became the foot soldiers who gave rise to the greatest democracy our world has ever known.

In that spirit, I believe it is imperative for our future to continue Jacksonville’s local governance in a way that encourages and supports more private citizens with a fair opportunity to run and lead this great city.


Lenny Curry is Mayor of Jacksonville.

Guest Author


  • Eugene Stevens

    November 16, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    That would be Good , need to add to the ballot term limits also and not 5 years out , should be for those that have already out used their welcome . Good job Mayor , government should not be for career politicians.

  • Larry

    November 17, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Yes, because Curry was so “respectful” of the “Citizen Leaders” on all of the independent authority boards in 2015. But most egregiously the JEA board in his now much maligned attempt to gift JEA to the highest bidder, while enriching his buddies that he grifted into senior leadership roles at the public utility. Why this guy was never indicted is just another one of those Jacksonville Mysteries.

  • Frankie M.

    November 17, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    Can we apply this to politicians holding statewide offices as well? I’m thinking of one in Tallahassee in particular. Is it bad form to resign from public office days after winning an election to run for a higher office. Is that disingenuous? Or is it more disingenuous to run for a statewide office knowing you will not complete your term?

  • Pot calling kettle

    November 19, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Does he mean like Daniel Davis having an agreement with the Chamber to return to his job if he loses his mayoral bid?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn