Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law which opens the pathway for him to continue serving as the governor during his presidential campaign.
On Wednesday, DeSantis announced that he had signed 20 bills, including one that allowed an exception to state law. Previously, state law dictated that any official candidates for federal office needed to resign from their position in the case where the terms of the two posts would overlap if the candidate was to win the race. However, under the new bill, DeSantis would be exempt from having to follow that rule, as a general exemption for those running for President or Vice President was established.
The bill was signed by DeSantis ahead of his official announcement on that same day that he was joining the 2024 presidential primary race. On Wednesday, he also filed the paperwork in the early morning and announced his candidacy later in the afternoon. DeSantis was widely anticipated to join the presidential race, as he has been appearing in second place in most of the Republican primary race polls in the past few months.
The legislation had passed along party lines. Those who supported the bill stated that clarification was necessary for the state laws. Democrats in the legislature, on the other hand, argued that the Republicans had specifically designed the bill so as to create a pathway for DeSantis to continue acting as governor while also running his presidential campaign.
The law also restricts mail-in ballots and places the responsibility for deciding voter eligibility on the individual instead of the state.