tampabay.com

Secretary of state quits

Glenda Hood cites the need to spend more time with her family.

By JONI JAMES
Published November 1, 2005


TALLAHASSEE - Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood submitted her resignation Tuesday, saying it is time for her to return to her hometown of Orlando to be with her grandchildren. She will step down Nov. 21.

Hood, who was Orlando's longtime mayor before being tapped by Gov. Jeb Bush as Florida's first permanent non-elected secretary of state, indicated she had no specific professional or political plans, though she will continue to serve on various congressional and state advisory boards.

Hood took the job in February 2003 and oversaw Florida's 2004 presidential election, four years after the infamous 2000 recount. Quiet and reserved, Hood's demeanor was a counterpoint to former Secretary of State Katherine Harris, now a Republican congressman from Sarasota.

But Hood's leadership drew her own share of scrutiny, particularly from Democrats, for rulings made by elections officials. Among the most controversial ones: Her order to elections supervisors to invalidate hundreds of "incomplete" voter registration forms because would-be voters had not checked a box saying they were a U.S. citizen. However the would-be voters had signed the cards after a statement attesting to their citizenship.