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Florida Republican leaves seat in Congress to focus on governor's race

By
Sommer Brokaw
Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis resigned from Congress Monday to focus on his bid for Florida governor. Photo courtesy U.S. House of Representatives/Ron DeSantis
Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis resigned from Congress Monday to focus on his bid for Florida governor. Photo courtesy U.S. House of Representatives/Ron DeSantis

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Republican Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis announced Monday he will resign his seat in Congress to focus on his race for governor.

DeSantis, who's running against Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, submitted his decision in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan Monday.

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"As the Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, it is clear to me that I will likely miss the vast majority of our remaining session days for this Congress," DeSantis wrote. "Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to accept salary."

His resignation is effective immediately, but DeSantis asked that it to be retroactive to Sept. 1, so he doesn't receive any pay for the month of September.

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DeSantis has already missed some votes while on the campaign trail. A campaign spokesman told the Orlando Sentinel if Ryan isn't able to cancel his pay for that week, he will donate the money to charity.

DeSantis said he was resigning because one of his 'guiding principles' has been to 'protect the taxpayer.'

"One of my guiding principles during my tenure in Congress has been to protect the taxpayers that I represent," DeSantis said. "This is why in my first days in office, I rejected my congressional pension, turned down the healthcare subsidy for members of Congress, and fought against a congressional pay raise. I believe members of Congress should not be treated any differently than those they govern."

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DeSantis was first elected in 2012 a Tea Party Republican, and easily beat Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as the Republican nominee for governor.

Gillum surged from behind to beat four other candidates in the Democratic primary in the final weeks.

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