As first predicted here, Kurt Browning resigning as Sec’y of State

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As first reported here, Secretary of State Kurt Browning on Wednesday announced he was stepping down as the state’s top election official but will remain at the helm until the completion of Florida’s presidential primary on Jan. 31. Browning, who returned from retirement to lead the department, will retire Feb. 17 and return to Pasco County, where he may consider a run for school superintendent.. Browning last retired the post in April 2010 after serving nearly four years under Gov. Charlie Crist. He was lured back from retirement by Gov. Rick Scott. Browning met briefly with Gov. Rick Scott and tendered his resignation.

***Updated***Gov. Scott’s responds: Governor Scott today issued the following statement regarding  Browning’s resignation:

“For more than 35 years, Secretary Kurt Browning has been an elections expert, serving twice as Florida’s Secretary of State and seven terms as Pasco County’s Supervisor of Elections. I commend his dedication to overseeing orderly, fair and error-free elections and ensuring Florida’s elections system is secure and defended from fraud.

“Over the last year, Secretary Browning has been instrumental in implementing the new elections law, working with Florida’s 67 independently elected Supervisors of Elections to prepare for the state’s presidential primary later this month, and coordinating Florida’s 500th anniversary celebration in 2013.

“I am grateful for Kurt’s years of dedicated service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.