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Amid heated governor's race, Ron DeSantis resigns from Congress

The Republican congressman announced Monday, less than two months before Election Day, that he’s immediately resigning from Congress to focus on his campaign for governor of Florida.
Image: Republican Florida governor candidate Ron DeSantis
Republican Florida gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis has been locked in a tight election race with Democrat Andrew Gillum.Carlos Barria / Reuters file

WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he’s immediately resigning from Congress to focus on his campaign for governor of Florida, less than two months before Election Day.

DeSantis, 39, informed Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., about his decision in a letter to his office Monday and is resigning from the House effective immediately, a spokesperson to Ryan confirmed to NBC News.

"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," DeSantis said in the letter.

"In order to honor my principles and protect the taxpayer, I officially resign from the House of Representatives effective immediately," he added.

Florida doesn't allow a candidate to run for two offices at once, so DeSantis was already scheduled to leave Capitol Hill at the end of his term. Republican Michael Waltz and Democrat Nancy Soderberg are running to replace DeSantis in Florida's 6th Congressional District.

The House is scheduled to be in session for 15 legislative days until the election, but lawmakers may leave earlier than expected if Congress is able to fund the government ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline to prevent a shutdown.

DeSantis was endorsed by President Donald Trump, who has stumped for him on the campaign trail. The GOP gubernatorial nominee is in a competitive election race with Democrat Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee who won the Democratic primary last month in an upset.

DeSantis had served in Congress since 2013.