Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will get to appoint a new chief elections officer who will oversee Florida's 2022 election -- in which the governor is running for re-election.
"Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee is stepping down Monday in a precursor for a likely run for a Tampa Bay-area congressional seat. Lee submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to a Thursday email sent to the state’s county election supervisors by Maria Matthews, director of the state’s Division of Elections," the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday.
This will allow DeSantis to appoint a new official, who will oversee the Florida Division of Elections, which is within the Department of State.
"Since joining the DeSantis administration, she has won bipartisan praise, particularly for the state’s handling of the 2020 election, one of the state’s smoothest in decades," the newspaper noted. "Despite the state’s success with that election, DeSantis and the Republican-controlled Legislature have passed numerous changes to the state’s voting laws in the name of rooting out voter fraud. Nearly all of those changes have led to lawsuits by civil rights and advocacy groups, which have argued they were unconstitutional."
It is against the backdrop of Trump continuing to push his "big lie" of election fraud that DeSantis will appoint a new secretary of state to replace Lee.
The secretary of state was elected by the voters until the passage of Amendment 8 in 1998. In the same election, Katherine Harris was chosen by the voters as the last elected secretary of state.
Read the full report.