Republican Florida governor candidate
DeSantis resigns from Congress
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[September 11, 2018]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.
Representative Ron DeSantis, a Republican in a close race for governor
of Florida, on Monday notified House of Representatives Speaker Paul
Ryan that he was resigning immediately from Congress.
In a letter to Ryan, DeSantis noted that the gubernatorial campaign
would keep him out of Washington for most of the remaining House
sessions before the November election. As a result, it would be
"inappropriate for me to accept a (congressional) salary," DeSantis
DeSantis' term in the House would have expired in January whether he won
the gubernatorial race or not.
His Democratic opponent for governor is Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum,
who is black. Late last month, there were reports that DeSantis made a
racially-tinged remark in referring to Gillum. DeSantis has denied the
remark was racially motivated.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that DeSantis in the past has
been a speaker at events organized by a conservative columnist who has
said that African-Americans owe their freedom to white people and that
the "only serious race war" in the United States targets whites.
Stephen Lawson, a DeSantis campaign spokesman, said the decision to
resign from Congress was not related to those reports.
[to top of second column]
Republican Florida governor candidate Ron DeSantis speaks during a
Make America Great Again Rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in
Tampa, Florida, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File
The Nov. 6 election between DeSantis, who has been endorsed by
President Donald Trump, and Gillum is seen as too close to call. The
winner will replace Republican Governor Rick Scott, who also is in a
tight U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and Paul Simao)
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