TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee has sent a letter of resignation to Gov. Ron DeSantis, effective May 16. Her resignation would mean she is out of office before the midterm elections in November.
Her resignation letter was shared with WFLA by the office of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Together, we protected and grew Florida’s competitive business climate, preserved Florida’s incredible historical resources, supported Florida’s arts and culture community, and strengthened Florida’s election systems. Because of your leadership, the Department of State is stronger and better than when we found it,” the letter reads in part.
According to reporting by the Tampa Bay Times, Lee may be considering a run for U.S. Congress in District 15, containing parts of Zephyrhills, Lakeland, a portion of Lake County, and part of Hillsborough County. A statement on her running for office in November has not been confirmed.
The letter shared with WFLA.com does not state why the secretary is resigning from her position. The notice thanks the governor for his confidence in her and the honor of working in the DeSantis administration.
Lee wrote in the letter that she would “continue to seek what’s best for the citizens of Florida” and that she looks forward to what comes next.
The secretary was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and took office in February 2019, after serving as a Circuit Court Judge in Hillsborough County’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Before serving as a judge, appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott, Lee was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.
In response to her resignation, the governor’s office provided the following statement, in addition to confirming the exit.
We are grateful to Secretary Lee for her service to the State of Florida. Over the past 20 years, Florida has become one of the best states in the nation at administering elections, and Secretary Lee built on that tradition. As Secretary of State, she helped ensure Florida had an efficient election in 2020, with accurate results. Further, during her tenure, the Department of State formed strong partnerships with federal agencies to make sure Florida received all possible federal resources that are available to prevent and respond to cyber threats on elections. We wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors.Taryn Fenske, Executive Office of the Governor, Director of Communications