Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee resigns

Tallahassee, Florida (AP) —Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee has resigned from his post as state chief election officer, Governor Ron DeSantis’ office said Thursday.

Republican Lee said in his resignation that he would resign on Monday and thank the governor who appointed her in 2019. Her letter did not specify the reason for her resignation, but the press reported that she was considering running for Congress.

“I am grateful for your support during my tenure and honored to have been part of your vision for our state,” she wrote in her resignation to DeSantis. “I continue to search for the best for Florida citizens and are always proud of what we have accomplished together.”

The DeSantis office said Lee’s replacement would be announced shortly.

“In the last two decades, Florida has become one of the best states in the country to manage elections, and Secretary Lee was built on that tradition,” said DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske. “As Secretary of State, she helped Florida hold efficient elections in 2020 and get accurate results.”

Prior to becoming Secretary of State, Lee was a judge in Hillsborough County, a former federal prosecutor and a federal public counsel. DeSantis appointed Lee in early 2019. Her predecessor, Michael Eltel, suddenly resigned after a newspaper got his photo in blackface at a party in 2005. Eltel later apologized.

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