Harris Resigns From Florida Post to Focus on Congress Run

Katherine Harris resigned Thursday as Florida secretary of state and made the move retroactive to July 15, saying she had misunderstood the rules about when she had to quit to run for Congress.

Harris, a Republican who as the state's chief election official was thrust into the international spotlight during the 2000 White House recount, said she had intended to quit later this month to focus on the congressional race.

But the state's resign-to-run law required her to file a letter on the day she qualified to run for Congress stating her intent to resign. Otherwise, the law says, the candidate must resign immediately.

"I made a mistake in not filing the letter," Harris said.

Harris said she thought the law did not apply to her office.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush said he accepted the resignation, but that Harris would be retained as acting secretary until a sucessor is named.