Friday, January 12, 2007

Florida primary may be moving to January

We have been clear about our support for an earlier primary election in 2008.

Florida was a rare bright spot for the GOP this election year. It should be an obvious place for Republican presidential hopefuls to stake their claim on the nomination. It also makes sense for Florida to move its presidential primary to a date that will put it in play.

Florida Republicans have earned the right to help determine which candidate will head the national ticket. Gov. Crist should get on board and actively support an earlier primary.
It now looks as if Florida lawmakers are moving toward making that a reality. A bipartisan bill has been introduced that would move the Florida presidential primary from early March to lat January. This would position Florida in the same class as South Carolina in terms of primary importance.

The AP is reporting that both the Republican and Democrat national parties may fight the move:
But the national Democratic and Republican parties have consistently opposed the idea to prevent a race between the states to have the earliest primary. And some have said Florida's size makes it impossible for underdog candidates to raise enough money to compete at such an early stage.

The Democratic and Republican parties could punish Florida for moving its primary earlier than Feb. 5 by taking away half their state party's delegates to the nominating convention. The Democratic National Committee could also decide that candidates who campaigned in Florida for a primary earlier than Feb. 5 should not get the state's delegates if they win, according to DNC rules.
This would be a bad move by the national parties, particularly the Republican Party. It is clear from moves by current contenders that Florida is a significant GOP battleground state, both in terms of the grassroots and financial support. Florida Republicans have earned the right to have a greater stake in determining the party's presidential nominee.

We again call on Gov. Crist and the House and Senate leadership to get behind this movement - or better yet, get in front of it and lead.

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