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FL-Gov: Republican Ron DeSantis quits Congress to campaign full time

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Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) resigned from Congress on Monday, in order to focus on his campaign to be Florida's next governor. DeSantis faces Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum in the Nov. 6 midterm election. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) resigned from Congress on Monday, notifying House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that he would be stepping down from his post immediately while he focuses on his campaign to become Florida's next governor.

What are the details?

In a letter to Ryan, DeSantis wrote: "As the Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, it is clear to me that I will likely miss the vast majority of our remaining session days for this Congress. Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to accept a salary."

"In order to honor my principle and protect the taxpayer," he continued, "I officially resign from the House of Representatives effective immediately. For purposes of pay, I ask that my resignation be retroactive to September 1 so that I do not receive any pay for the month of September."

DeSantis posted the letter to his Twitter feed, saying "It has been an honor to serve the people of Florida's Sixth Congressional District."

Anything else?

DeSantis announced his gubernatorial run earlier this year, saying then that he would not seek a fourth term in Congress. He faces a tough race against Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, with the Democrat holding a slight advantage according to the last Quinnipiac University poll — but Gillum's lead — 50 percent to 47 percent — was within the 4.3 percent margin of error.

Gillum, who is the mayor of Tallahassee, is endorsed by former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while DeSantis is backed by President Donald Trump. If elected, Gillum would become the first black governor of the state.

Because Gillum is African-American, Rep. DeSantis came under fire a few weeks ago for warning voters not to "monkey this up" when they head to the polls in the general election. Critics accused DeSantis of using the phrase as a racist dog whistle, which the congressman's campaign adamantly denied.

The two candidates will face off Nov. 6, with the winner replacing the termed-out Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) who is running for U.S. Senate.

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