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Resign-to-run laws

Resign-to-run laws are laws in several juridictions in democracies where a current office-holder cannot run for another office.

Rationale and Advantages

  • Campaigning may be time-consuming; campaigners may short-change their jobs while running for another office.
  • While campaigning, office-holders may attempt to (inappropriately) use resources from their current office for the campaign. This could include the office-holders' current staff.
  • An office-holder who aspires to a greater office may not work as hard in that office as they might if they actually WANTED that office, and may take actions that make them attractive for the position they want.


  • Those who aspire to higher office may not take the lower positions in resign-to-run areas, since the positions cannot be "stepping stones" for them.
  • Office-holders who do want a higher office must work elsewhere for some amount of time before running, reducing the number of candidates for the higher office.
  • Since office-holders often reward their home areas, it is advantageous to have residents of an area in the higher offices. Resign-to-run laws hinder running for those offices.


United States




Section 99.012, Florida Statutes, states,
No officer may qualify as a candidate for another public office, whether state, district, county or municipal, if the terms or any part thereof run concurrently with each other, without resigning from the office he or she presently holds.



In 1978, the state constitution was amended to include resign-to-run.

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