The Brian Mudd Show

The Brian Mudd Show

There are two sides to stories and one side to facts. That's Brian's mantra and what drives him to get beyond the headlines.Full Bio


Q&A – Would Florida Hold a Special Election if DeSantis becomes President?

Q&A of the Day – Would Florida Hold a Special Election if Governor DeSantis is Elected President? 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.   


Social: @brianmuddradio    

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.    

Today’s Entry: Hi Brian, I have a question for the Q&A. If DeSantis were to run for president and win, would that force a special election to be held in two years? I could see where that might impact the vote of Floridians if that were the case. Also, I haven’t heard anything recently about Florida’s resign to run law? That’s something DeSantis was pushing to change before the session. 

Bottom Line: Amid the daily dose of Trump-DeSantis stories with the expectation of a formal presidential bid being announced by the governor after the conclusion of Florida’s state legislative session in May, you’ve raised an interesting question. It’s a question I’ve not been presented with previously. Would Florida have to hold a special gubernatorial election if DeSantis were elected president? It is easy to see how the prospect of a potential special election two years from now to replace DeSantis could impact the thought process of Republican primary voters in our state. It’s one thing to lose DeSantis as a governor two years earlier than would otherwise be the case if he were to be elected president. It’s a whole other layer still if that prospect were also to force an early election with all of the uncertainty which would surround it. That said. This is a question that’s easily answered.  

Under Article IV Section 3 of Florida’s Constitution it states: 

  • Upon vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall become governor. Further succession to the office of governor shall be prescribed by law. A successor shall serve for the remainder of the term. 

So should Governor DeSantis be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th, 2025, Florida’s Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez would be sworn in that day as well (or earlier should DeSantis resign prior to Inauguration Day which would be likely). She’d then serve the remainder of the term which would conclude in January of 2027. Incidentally, it’s also likely she’d seek to retain the office by running for Governor in 2026. So, to the extent the if this/than that scenario may factor into one’s potential Florida Republican primary Presidential vote, that’s the consideration. As for the potential changes to Florida’s resign-to-run law... 

As we’ve previously discussed on the show, due to Florida’s current resign to run law, without changes, win or lose, Governor DeSantis would have to submit his resignation ten days before filing federal paperwork and would no longer be Florida’s governor as of January 20th, 2025 – nearly two full years prior to his 2nd term would come to a close. That’s due to the current law stating:  

(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.  

(c) The written resignation must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the first day of qualifying for the office he or she intends to seek. 

(d) The resignation must be effective no later than the earlier of the following dates: 

1. The date the officer would take office, if elected; or 

2. The date the officer’s successor is required to take office. 

As of today, there’s still been no movement in the current state legislative session on revising this law. Rest assured if Governor DeSantis is as serious as most think he is about running for president, that will change before May 5th when the state legislative session ends. And why wouldn’t there have already been action on the issue if DeSantis is likely to run? If this issue were to be an early priority during the state session it would overshadow the rest of the session with the focus squarely being on DeSantis’ clear intent to run for president as opposed to the issues that matter most to Floridians which are being addressed legislatively. It would also be easy to suggest that the legislature and the governor placed a priority on his political ambitions as opposed to the needs of Floridians. For those reasons I’ve always thought it would be most likely, that if there is to be a change in Florida’s resign to run law, it would come during the last week of the session at about the time the budget process is being completed. We shall see. 

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content