Florida Vacant Legislative Seats
Staples v. DeSantis
Lawsuit filed on behalf of Florida voters against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for his failure to call three special elections to fill vacancies in three majority-Black legislative districts. In line with Florida’s “resign-to-run” law, three legislators — state Rep. Bobby DuBose (D), state Rep. Omari Hardy (D) and state Sen. Perry Thurston (D) — filed resignation letters over 75 days ago in order to run for the open congressional seat left by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings’ (D) death in April. Despite the fact that the 2022 legislative session is fast approaching, DeSantis has not yet announced any special elections to fill these seats. The complaint asks the court to order the governor to set special primary and general elections to fill these vacancies before the next legislative session so that the voters of these districts can have adequate representation in the Florida Legislature. On Oct. 27, DeSantis called special elections for the three vacant districts, with a primary scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022 and an election scheduled for March 8, 2022.