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Fla.'s Harris resigns to run for Congress

Katherine Harris  

From John Mercurio
CNN Washington Bureau

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- Republican Katherine Harris ended her controversial term as Florida's secretary of state Thursday, saying she wants to focus more fully on her bid for Congress.

Harris was a key player in Florida's 2000 presidential election dispute, certifying George W. Bush had won the close race after she refused to accept a partially completed recount from Palm Beach.

In a three-page letter to Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, Harris said she "foresees difficulty in maintaining the delicate balance" between her official role and the campaign.

She cited a "burning desire" to continue reforming the state's election system, but said she can no longer do so effectively.

Harris made her resignation retroactive to July 15, to comply with a state law that requires candidates to resign public offices they hold under certain circumstances.

Democrats suggested that Harris' retroactive resignation indicated she did not understand state election laws.

But Republicans said Harris was merely informing the governor of her resignation, which automatically took effect as soon as she qualified in mid-July to run for federal office.




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