Representative Bobby DuBose is staying in his lane. Florida’s House Democratic Minority Leader brushed aside calls for his resignation on Wednesday.
“There’s more to it,” DuBose told SFGN in a telephone call from Tallahassee. “I guess the political theater sounds good but technically there’s a structure of how this whole thing is set up.”
DuBose (D-Fort Lauderdale) has announced plans to campaign for the open seat in U.S. Congressional District 20. That decision has those seeking to follow his trail to Tallahassee asking for DuBose to resign as District 94 Representative.
“Due to Florida’s resign to run laws, all elected officials who will be running for the vacant congressional seat must submit irrevocable resignations at the time of qualifying,” reads a letter penned by Oakland Park Vice Mayor Michael Carn, Elijah Manley and Roderick Kemp, three candidates vying for the house seat. The letter was circulated widely on social media Wednesday.
DuBose said his resignation is a mere formality because no one can hold two offices at the same time. However, the resignation is not imminent.
“We resign effective January 11,” DuBose said. “If I resign prematurely it leaves the district without representation. So there’s still work to be done. For example we’re just finishing up a special session. If I resign prematurely there will be no one there. There are still constituent services to do. They’ll still be committee weeks before the date is set. There'll be deadlines to get bills in, appropriations and stuff like that we still have to represent.”
DuBose said a special election does not guarantee representation, noting the case of House District 97 when Jared Moskowitz was tapped by Governor Ron DeSantis to direct the Division of Emergency Management. Moskowitz’s successor, Representative Dan Daley was not seated by the Speaker of the House until after the 2019 session.
“Once the election is held then it will shift from the governor to the Speaker of the House as well as the senate president on these special elections and it’s within their discretion whether they’re going to seat the individuals that will represent … say District 94,” DuBose said.
The death of longtime Congressman Alcee Hastings caused a cascade of intentions in CD-20. DuBose, Senator Perry Thurston, Representative Omari Hardy and Broward County Commissioners Dale Holness and Barbara Sharief are all in the running for the Democratic nomination. DeSantis has set the special primary election for Nov. 2 with the general election scheduled for Jan. 11.
Manley said DeSantis is moving slowly leaving parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties without representation in Washington, D.C. for nine months. He wants DuBose’s resignation effective at the conclusion of this week’s special session, effective May 21.
DuBose, who defeated Manley in the 2020 Democratic primary, said he intends to fulfill his state duties, applying the same procedure that he did when he left the Fort Lauderdale Commission for Tallahassee in 2014.
“I plan to give the district as much representation as I can because when I ran for office initially in this cycle that’s what I signed up for,” DuBose said. “Whether or not there’s someone seated in the session it’s not necessarily in my power, that will be up to the Speaker of the House.”