GOP Florida gubernatorial candidate quits Congress to 'protect taxpayers.' His term would've ended in January anyway.

Ron DeSantis.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Florida's dramatic gubernatorial race just took it up a notch.

Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican vying to be governor of the Sunshine State with President Trump's endorsement, resigned from Congress on Monday to focus on his campaign. DeSantis recently secured the Republican nomination in the race, and he used his resignation letter to stress how he'll "protect the taxpayer" by not accepting a congressional salary as he pursues the governor's seat.

Last month, both DeSantis and his Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum defeated more centrist candidates to win their respective primaries. Gillum had the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while DeSantis had Trump's, setting up a heated race for the governor's seat this fall.

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In his Monday letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the billionaire-backed DeSantis stressed his desire to "protect" taxpayers by turning down the pension and health-care subsidy allotted to lawmakers. That's why, knowing that he'll probably miss much of the rest of this congressional term while he campaigns for governor, DeSantis announced his resignation and asked that it be dated to Sept. 1, so that he doesn't receive any pay for the month fo September.

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DeSantis' term would've ended in January whether or not he wins the gubernatorial race. He and Gillum will face off Nov. 6. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows the opponents in a tight contest, with Gillum winning 50 percent of likely voters and DeSantis at 47 percent.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.