Preparing to become Florida State University president Monday, state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, submitted his resignation from the Legislature effective at midnight Sunday. Thrasher’s move Friday immediately caused a political chain reaction, with state Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, and Rep. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, taking formal steps to run for Thrasher’s Senate seat.
Renuart and Hutson submitted resignation letters from the House, effective the day before a special general election would be held in the Senate district. Renuart had already said he intended to run for the Senate seat after Thrasher departed, and Hutson also was widely believed to be considering a bid. Republican Derek Hankerson, who lost to Thrasher in a primary this year, also has indicated he will run.
Thrasher represents Senate District 6, which includes Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties and part of Volusia County. Gov. Rick Scott will have to call a special election for the Senate seat, and special elections also will have to be held to replace Renuart and Hutson in the House. Renuart represents District 17 in St. Johns County, while Hutson represents District 24, which includes Flagler County and parts of St. Johns and Volusia counties.