Fla. GOP Fear Early Primary Sanctions

Tuesday, 05 Apr 2011 12:58 PM

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Grass roots members of the Florida Republican Party fear the repercussions at the 2012 Republican National Convention due to their leaderships’ insistence on breaking party rules to hold an early primary, the St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday.

florida, early, primary"The Legislature is going to do what they want to do, and they're going to do what they deem best for themselves,” Pinellas state committee member Tony DiMatteo told the newspaper. “But for the party's rank and file, we work very hard for a chance to go to the convention. There are going to be a lot of disappointed Florida Republicans if we lose half our delegates."

Polk County state committee member Linda Ivell said Florida Republicans need an excited grass roots in 2012, and the convention can rev up party members.

"I understand the philosophy of moving the primary up, but I'm kind of a stickler for the rules," Ivell said. "What's most important is making sure the grass roots get to participate in the convention. What do we get for breaking the rules?"

RNC officials have threatened to cut in half the number of delegates Florida could seat at the convention scheduled for Tampa next year if the state holds an early presidential primary. The party rules allow only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to hold nominating elections before March 6. Florida lawmakers have scheduled a primary vote for Jan. 31.

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