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Miami Commissioner wants to resign Thursday -- and immediately be reappointed



If all goes according to plan, Francis Suarez will resign Thursday as a Miami city commissioner -- and then promptly be sworn back in.

Suarez, who is running for mayor with two years left on his final term as a city commissioner, hopes the maneuver will allow him to comply with Florida's resign-to-run law and keep his post during the final months of election season while saving the city some money.

"I'd be happy for it to happen on Thursday [during Miami's meeting of the city commission]. I put it on as a discussion item just in case the commission wanted more time to think about it," he said. "But I'm ready to do it. I think it's the best way to do it because it saves the city a significant amount of money doing it this way."

Under the state's resign-to-run law, Suarez must submit his resignation as a city commissioner by the city's ballot qualifying deadline in September in order to officially register as a candidate for mayor. Typically, candidates in his situation file their resignation just before the qualifying deadline and step down on the last possible day, often after the election since the law simply states that terms of state, county and local offices can't run concurrently for one person.

Their municipality or government agency then appoints a replacement or calls for a special election.

But as current Mayor Tomas Regalado did in 2009, Suarez hopes to preemptively and temporarily leave his post and return on the condition that he end his term as commissioner once the results from the November election are certified. Miami's other four commissioners, who would have to reappoint him, could allow the maneuver when they meet Thursday.

Suarez also said that by resigning briefly in June, he allows the city clerk and elections department to schedule a special election for his replacement to coincide with the regular election. There are currently four candidates running to replace Suarez, but officially their election isn't scheduled until 2019.

If he resigns in late September, the city would likely have to schedule a costly stand-alone election.

"If I were to resign at the last possible moment, it would create a special election which in addition to costing additional money wouldn't require a run-off" should no candidate receive more than 50 percent of the vote, he said.

This article has been updated to clarify the requirements of Florida's resign-to-run law.