Florida’s GOP Frenzy: Convention, Primary, Redistricting

Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 01:27 PM

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With Florida hosting the Republican National Convention, redistricting on tap, and a possible early GOP primary election in 2012, it looks to be a crazy political year in the state that made the hanging chad famous, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Add to that mix what could be a high-profile U.S. Senate GOP primary in August, which would happen just as the national convention descends on Tampa.

“No question it’s going to be an exciting time in Florida,’’ Florida Republican Party Chairman David Bitner told the newspaper.

Bitner is juggling shifting scenarios ranging from the presidential primary date to how and when new political districts will be drawn.

Some Republicans are discussing putting redistricting rules back on the ballot in January. Others are talking about making that presidential primary officially meaningless and later holding party-run caucuses to allocate delegates.

The political fun starts in September, when the state Republican Party hosts Presidency 5, a weekend in Orlando featuring a Fox News presidential debate and an officially meaningless but potentially critical presidential “straw poll” of more than 3,000 Florida Republicans.

The last three men to win Florida’s early GOP straw poll went on to win the nomination: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole.

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