September 22nd, 2007
04:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Florida Democrats will still go against party

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Florida Democratic Party will hold its presidential primary on Jan. 29, despite being told by the Democratic National Committee that doing so will result in the state losing its 210 delegates to the 2008 nominating convention in Denver, a Florida Democratic official tells CNN.

State party officials have scheduled a news conference for Sunday to make the announcement, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. In addition to losing all of its delegates, the decision also means that most of the Democratic presidential candidates will no longer campaign in Florida. The candidates have agreed not to stump for votes in any state that does not follow the DNC’s nominating calendar.

Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed legislation into law that moved the state’s primary to Jan. 29, even though it violated rules established by the DNC to keep all but four states – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – from holding nominating contests before Feb. 5. The Republican National Committee has similar rules, but the penalty is less severe for states that violate them.

Last month, Florida Democrats asked the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee to recognize Jan. 29 as its primary date, a request that was rejected outright. The DNC panel then gave the Florida Democratic Party a month to submit an alternative date or risk losing all of its delegates.

Prior to the August DNC meeting, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, threatened to sue the DNC if the national party barred Sunshine State delegates from attending the convention.

"If the Democratic National Committee sanctions Florida then some of us (in) the Florida congressional delegation may ask an appropriate legal venue to determine whether or not a political party's rules can supersede someone's right to vote," Nelson told reporters.

Florida Democrats’ decision to hold their primary on Jan. 29 is the latest piece of the puzzle to fall into place in what is still a yet-to-be defined primary calendar less than four months before voters begin casting votes for president. It is still unclear what dates Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina Democrats will hold their nominating contests. Michigan has already moved its primary date for both political parties to Jan. 15, while the South Carolina Republican Party has scheduled its primary for Jan. 19. Both of these states are also in violation of the DNC and RNC rules.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Florida • Iowa • New Hampshire • Race to '08 • South Carolina
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Shawn, Iowa City, IA


    "Wooo… Isn't the US supposed to be a

    Actually, no, it isn't supposed to be a democracy. The US is a republic with democratic principles.


    "Unless we go to a national primary, having all 50 states vote on the same day (yes, including New Hampshire and Iowa too), the 2012 primaries will start around October 2011."

    Here's another 'actually' for ya... this wouldn't help too much either as unlike New Hampshire it is written into the Iowa State Constitution, recognized and respected by both the RNC and DNC, that the state must constantly maintain the first in the nation primary. Thus a move by all other states to Oct would force by state law a move by Iowa to Sept.

    Anonymous (use your name if you want to post, at least have the integrity to stand by your words right or wrong)

    "A couple of guys here blamed the Clinton machine for the Florida's decision to move up the dated because, in their views, Hillary will lose in the primaries of Iowa, New Hampshire & South Carolina. What a bull!"

    Being in one of those states, and the main democratic/independent stronghold in the otherwise republican stat, don't believe everything polls tell you. Hillary is not exactly the most popular candidate in this part of the state.

    and finally, Lynn,

    "If not, why have a two party system?"

    And yet another 'actually'... we don't have a two party system. The democratic and republican parties along with the favorable attention they receive from mass media outlets would definitely lead one to draw the same conclusion you have, but the US was specifically created as a government of no political parties.

    September 23, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Rebecca Gomez, Brownsville, Texas

    all states in violation of political party rules should be held in contempt for attempting to disrupt such an important election in 2008

    September 23, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Terry, El Paso, TX

    For those less careful thinkers who like to call anything and everything done by the government "socialism", here is the first three sentences from the Wikipedia article on Socialism.

    "Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. This control may be either direct — exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils — or indirect —exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by state or community ownership of the means of production."

    What democrat has lately proposed governmental ownership of the means of production? I suppose Hoover Dam and the Tennessee Valley River project might be considered socialism. No Democrat is proposing that the government build new dams, except in New Orleans, but those levees will not be used to generate electricity.

    Leftists (there are no more Liberals) are way too free with the words "fascist" and "racist" whereas Conservatives see every government action as "socialism" or "communism," except the many governmental services that benefit them personally.

    Words have meaning. Without meaning, your words are nonsense.

    September 23, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. thescoundrel

    Though it is not a slam dunk the party hierarchy is hoping to push Hillary through. She is like Bill in that the insiders will have the most influence with her in power. That is what the modern primary is all about finding the right candidate that will allow the most behind the scenes control.

    September 23, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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