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End the duopoly

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.29.20

Expect a major announcement from Sen. Tom Lee sometime today. Lee is likely to leave his Senate seat to run for Hillsborough County Clerk of Court.

As Florida Politics first reported Thursday , a longtime Lee confidant and Hillsborough-based lobbyist said Lee is “about 75% there.”

His candidacy would cause a ripple in state politics. Because of Florida’s resign to run law, Lee would have to leave his seat in the Senate this year regardless of whether he won the Clerk’s race. Tom Lee would undoubtedly shake things up if he decided to run for Hillsborough County Clerk of Court. The timing of his decision would determine when he’d leave office. Under the law, lawmakers running for individual offices, including county constitutional offices, must resign at least 10 days before qualifying begins for the office they seek. If Lee waits beyond Friday, he will miss that window. He could still run, but it would force him to resign immediately rather than being able to tenure his resignation in November.

Sources say Lee is concerned about leaving his Senate seat vacant during the coronavirus crisis. It’s likely the Legislature will be called into Special Session to deal with budget concerns. If he resigns […]

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