Florida Gov. Rick Scott may be forced to resign early due to Senate bid

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Scott entering the race for Senate may jeopardize Florida Supreme Court picks

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott may have to resign early if he goes ahead with an anticipated run for the U.S. Senate.

But thanks to a little-noticed change approved this month by state legislators, Scott may be able to wait until after the November elections to make up his mind. The state of Florida has been under Trifecta control by the Republicans- meaning one party controls both houses and the executive branch –  since 2011. Called the Resign-to-Run Bill, it extends to current lawmakers who want to run for federal office the requirement that they tender their resignation at least 10 days before qualifying to run for federal office. That resignation is then effective the day either they or their successor takes office.

The U.S. Constitution requires Congress to convene on Jan. 3 unless a different day is chosen. Scott’s term as governor does not end until the following week.

Scott said this weekend he will decide his political future in the next few weeks.

It is widely expected that Scott will challenge Democratic Senator Bill Nelson for his seat. The four term incumbent has been targeting Scott over his support of the gun industry in Florida, specifically the financial incentives given to gun manufacturers to lure them to the state. According to Politico.com,

In the clearest sign he’s ready to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has raised more than $1.1 million for a super PAC he recentlyrevived and stocked it with top consultants from his previous campaigns. Privately, he’s talked up his good polling numbers, according to several supporters who have spoken to Scott recently.

If Scott does have to resign early, it could have ramifications on the makeup of the Florida Supreme Court. Age limits are forcing three justices to retire on the day Scott’s successor takes office. Scott has said he planned to name their replacements on the same morning.