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Still No Primary Date for Florida

September 23rd, 2011 by flanews

As Republican candidates for president battle it out in Orlando, the clock is ticking for Florida to pick a primary date. The National Democrat and Republican Parties are telling the state they can’t vote until March 6th, but as Whitney Ray tells us, state leaders selected to pick a primary date are likely to thumb their noses at the parties.

Florida is a kingmaker in presidential elections, but how effective the state will be in helping to select a Republican nominee, depends on the members of this committee.

The Primary Date Selection Committee met Friday, but ended without scheduling a voting day.

“I think that Florida really wants to have relevance and the way that you do that is to make sure those traditional states Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are given their place,” said Secretary of State and committee chairman Kurt Browning.

The national parties want Florida to vote after March 5th. By then seven other states may have voted… and the nominee could be apparent. Former state senator and committee member Al Lawson says Florida is too importation to vote that late.

“There’s going to be more resources that is put into Florida. There is more emphasis on the 29 delegates that we have here compared to some of the other ones,” said Lawson.

Many members of the nine person committee want to vote right after South Carolina. Its primary is set for February 28th. The parties rule of after March 5th wasn’t even discussed.

What’s at stake is the number of delegates Florida will have at the Democrat and Republican conventions. If the state doesn’t play by the rules, the number of delegates will be cut in half.

Florida maybe willing to gamble because by the time the conventions are held the voting delegations will likely be a formality, because traditionally all the trailing candidates conceded to the front runner before the convention.

The committee has until Oct 1st to pick a date, and a vote is expected next Friday. Procrastinating maybe the best option, because several other states are expected to have set their date before then, giving Florida an opportunity to move ahead of them.

Primaries and Caucuses
January 3rd Iowa
January 5th Wyoming (Republican only)
January 8th New Hampshire
January 19th Nevada
February 7th Missouri
February 28th South Carolina
February 28th Arizona

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