ORLANDO, Florida. – Florida’s secretary of state resigns, seven months before the November election.
Laurel Lee tendered her resignation to Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday, according to the governor’s spokesperson. The resignation is effective Monday, May 16.
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Lee’s resignation does not specifically say why she is resigning.
“I will continue to strive for the best for the citizens of Florida and will always be proud of what we have accomplished together,” she wrote.
Lee has served as secretary of state since February 2019, after DeSantis’ first secretary of state, former Seminole County election supervisor Mike Ertel, was forced to resign amid controversy.
Prior to that, Lee was appointed as a circuit court judge by former Governor Rick Scott in 2013, serving in Hillsborough County.
The Florida Secretary of State’s most important job is overseeing the election division, including candidate filings and voting charts. DeSantis will now have to appoint someone to take the job, a month before the candidates qualify and a few months before the August primaries.
The Florida Department of State also operates the Division of Societies, Libraries, and Information Services, and the Florida Arts and Culture Division.
“Together, we have protected and grown Florida’s competitive business climate, preserved Florida’s incredible historic resources, supported Florida’s arts and cultural community, and strengthened Florida’s electoral systems. Thanks to your leadership, the State Department is stronger and better than when we found it,” Lee wrote in his resignation letter.
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