TALLAHASSEE (CBS4/NSF)- Secretary of State Kurt Browning has done it again. On Wednesday he announced he was stepping down as the state’s top election official.

Browning however said he will remain in office 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, the News Service of Florida reported.

Governor Rick Scott issued a 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,” the statement read. “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.”

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 Scott and tendered his resignation.

Browning will continue to serve as Secretary of State until February 17, after Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary on January 31.

Governor Scott will name a new Secretary of State prior to Browning’s departure.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed material for this report)


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