Republican Ron DeSantis has done something most politicians never do — resigns from his current office while running for another one. DeSantis sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan Monday announcing his immediate departure. He asked that his resignation be retroactive to September 1 so that he will not receive any pay for this month. DeSantis is now free to focus exclusively on his race for Governor.
“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 said in the letter to Speaker Ryan. “Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to accept a salary. In order to honor my principles and protect the taxpayer, I officially resign from the House of Representatives effective immediately.”
By resigning early, DeSantis will forgo $58,000 in salary. He had previously declined to accept the health care subsidy given to members of Congress and also rejected his Congressional pension.
DeSantis had missed very few votes until the Governor’s race heated up in July. According to GovTrack, which monitors Congressional votes, DeSantis missed nearly 54 percent of votes in July, August and September.
Democrats tried to tie DeSantis’ to a rehash article from the Washington Post stating the former Congressman had made four appearances at an organization accused of making racially insensitive comments. The Naples Daily News reported his attendance at the conference in June.
“Ron DeSantis’ entire political career has been about helping one person: Ron DeSantis,” Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said in a statement. “Ron DeSantis can abandon his post, but he can’t avoid questions about why he chose to associate himself with hateful, fringe organizations.”
DeSantis is at the end of his third term in Congress and could have served until January 3, 2019 — the completion of his term. His opponent, Democrat Andrew Gillum continues to serve as Tallahassee Mayor, drawing a salary of $72,000 a year.