Florida Secretary of State stepping down, may pursue congressional bid

Florida Republican Secretary of State Laurel Lee announced Friday that she would step down from her position on Monday as reports circulate that she will run for Congress in the 15th district. 

“I am grateful for your support throughout my tenure, and I am honored to have been part of your vision for our state,” Lee told Governor Ron DeSantis (R) in her resignation letter, according to The Hill.

She said she “will continue to seek what’s best for the citizens of Florida” in future career choices, adding, “I look forward to what the future holds.”

“We are grateful to Secretary Lee for her service to the State of Florida,” DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske said in a statement that lauded her for her work in administering “efficient” elections. “We wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors.”

A run for Congress

It is believed that Lee plans to run for a House seat in the 15th district in the Tampa area, which was left vacant in the redistricting process when Rep. Scott Franklin (R) was reassigned to the 18th district.

Former Rep. Dennis Ross and state Rep. Jackie Toledo are also vying for the seat, but with the Florida primary in August, anything can happen.

Lee has strong ties to the district. She was formerly an assistant U.S. attorney and circuit court judge in Hillsborough, and her husband Tom Lee served as a state senator in the area for 18 years, two of them as president of the Senate.

Florida’s gain

Florida gained a seat in the House after the 2020 Census because of population growth there.

The Sunshine state will now have 28 representatives and 30 electoral votes. Between the 2010 and 2020 Censuses, Florida gained 2.7 million residents.

It is now the third most populous state with 21.5 million people. Only California and Texas are more populous.

California lost one House seat because of slowing population growth, however, while Texas gainst two seats.

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