Senate President Joe Negron announced Wednesday that he will retire from the Senate two years early, stepping down on November 6 of this year, the same day his term as president ends. His current term as senator was set to run through November of 2020.
“I have always been a big believer in term limits,” Sen. Negron, R-Stuart, said in a written statement. “I have had the privilege of representing the Treasure Coast and parts of Palm Beach County in the Florida Senate for nine years. The way I see it, I actually received an extra year because I came to the Senate in a Special Election in 2009. The additional two years of my final term were added only through the vagaries of reapportionment litigation.”
In his resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott, Negron said he wanted to provide his successor with enough time to prepare for the 2018 primary and general election, without creating the need for a special election.
“I believe in a citizen Legislature where women and men from all walks of life serve for a reasonable period of time and then return to the private sector,” said Negron. “I have done my very best to fight for my community in Tallahassee and November is the right time to retire from my service in the Legislature.”
Negron’s time in the Legislature started in the House where he served from 2000 to 2006. He was elected to the Senate in 2009. He served as chair of the Appropriations Committees in both chambers.
Negron’s district covers all of St. Lucie and Martin counties, and a portion of northern Palm Beach County.
Two candidates had already announced they intended to run for Negron’s Senate seat when it was assumed he would remain in office through 2020. Those two candidates are Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, and Martin County physician Robert Levy.