Florida Democrats will go ahead with Jan 29th Primary

06/11/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Yesterday the Florida Democratic Party announced that they would do nothing to change their January 29th Presidential Primary election next year.

That date – set by the Florida legislature earlier this year – violates the Democratic National Committee’s rules, which bans all but 4 states from holding primaries before February 5th.

It means Florida could stand to lose some of all of their 241 delegates to the national convention, and the presidential candidates who campaign in Florida would win NO delegates towards the nomination under DNC Rules.

Karen Thurman is the Chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party. She said Florida Democrats do NOT want the DNC not to penalize the state nor the candidates (roll tape#2 o.q.”not going to happen”)

WMNF called the Democratic National Committee in Washington for comment. They did not return our phone call by airtime.

Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson said he spoke with DNC Chairman Howard Dean last week. (roll tape#2 o.q.”out of this”)

Nelson said the suggestion was that the DNC encourage the 4 states with either Primaries or Caucuses scheduled ahead of Florida now to move their election date up 7 days. (roll tape#3 o.q.”to Governor Dean”)

Fearful of losing delegates or having the Presidential candidates lose delegates, at one point, Florida Democrats contemplated making the January 29th primary non-binding, and instead holding a Caucus of vote by mail election a week later, on February 5th.

But party members rejected that on Sunday. And they’re justifying that rejected of DNC penalties by saying that it was Republicans who disenfranchised voters before – and that Democrats can’t go down that same path (roll tape#4 o.q.”presidential choice”)

Frank Sanchez is the regional Finance Chairman for Barack Obama’s Campaign in Florida. He says the Illinois Senator recognizes the importance of Florida next year, has no intention of avoiding Florida over the next year (roll tape#5 o.q.”electoral process”)

And again, WMNF attempted to speak with the Democratic National Committee. They were not available for comment.

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