Trump-backed GOP congressman abruptly resigns to focus on campaign for governor in hotly contested Florida race

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee June 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. While scheduled to discuss the Justice Department Inspector general report released this month on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Republicans were expected to use the opportunity to press for release of documents subpoenaed by the committee that detail FBI actions in 2016. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis resigned on Monday to focus entirely on his campaign for governor of Florida.
  • DeSantis is locked in a tight race with his Democratic opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

WASHINGTON - Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis will be resigning from Congress on Monday, opting instead to focus all of his time on a gubernatorial bid in his home state of Florida, an aide told Business Insider.

DeSantis sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan informing him of the resignation, which he requested be retroactive for all of September and so that he does not receive pay for the month.

"In order to honor my principles and protect the taxpayer, I officially resign from the House of Representatives effective immediately," DeSantis wrote. "For purposes of pay, I ask that my resignation be retroactive to September 1 so that I do not receive any pay for the month of September."

DeSantis also touted his record in the House, writing that he is proud of his work on the Republican tax cut bill and in moving the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

He also said that he "had the honor to lead on important issues such as eliminating the Sexual Harassment Slush Fund for members of Congress, increasing protections for sexual assault victims in the military, and getting the PAWS Act to the floor for a vote later this month, which will provide much needed help for service members dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress."

DeSantis is currently in a tight race for governor against Democrat Andrew Gillum. The current RealClearPolitics average of polls has Gillum leading DeSantis by 2.5 points.

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