Plant City Republican Rep. Dan Raulerson is undergoing spinal surgery Friday for an autoimmune deficiency, taking him out of the Legislature temporarily for four to six weeks while he recovers.
But, the third-term state representative told the Times/Herald, "I have no intention of resigning."
Raulerson is working with the House speaker's office to have other lawmakers present and manage his proposed bills when committee meetings start in January, he said.
Yet his absence during a critical week for House members in Tallahassee caused rumors to swirl that he might step down.
Lawmakers this week underwent mandatory training sessions, including ethics instruction required by law. And they are at work lobbying Speaker Richard Corcoran and committee chairmen for plum assignments on powerful House panels.
Raulerson said that there's uncertainty "anytime you have back surgery" but that he fully plans on returning to Tallahassee before session begins on March 7.
"I've been limping around Tallahassee for two years," Raulerson said.
That's when doctors diagnosed him with the autoimmune condition, which he did not want to disclose, citing his medical privacy.
"We plan on working in the Legislature moving forward," he said.