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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

2012 is shaping up to be a wild ride for Florida

18

March

Election seasons are always unpredictable in Florida, but 2012 is shaping up to be downright crazy.

Consider that state legislative candidates already are opening up fundraising accounts unsure what their districts will look like by the summer of 2012. Or that the Legislature will kick off its 2012 session in January, two months early, and just as Republican presidential candidates are poised to descend on the Sunshine State for what the national GOP considers to be a rogue primary. And come August 2012, Republican activists in Florida may be juggling a crowded, high-profile U.S. Senate primary and an even higher-profile Republican National Convention in Tampa.

"No question it's going to be an exciting time in Florida,'' said Florida Republican Party chairman David Bitner, who himself is juggling shifting scenarios ranging from the presidential primary date to how and when new political districts will be drawn. Read Adam C. Smith's story here.

Key dates in the 2012 election

Sept. 22-24, 2011: Republican Party of Florida hosts Presidency 5 Straw Poll and Republican presidential debate in Orlando.

Jan. 10, 2012: Legislative session convenes, two months earlier than usual, to take up redistricting.

Jan. 31, 2012: Florida's scheduled presidential primary.

February 2012: Month RNC has reserved for Iowa caucuses and primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

June 2012: Legislature releases final district lines.

June 18-22, 2012: Federal, state, and local candidate qualifying.

Aug. 27-30, 2012: Republican National Convention at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.

Aug. 28, 2012: Florida's scheduled primary election.

Sept. 3-6, 2012: Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Nov. 6, 2012: General election.

[Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2011 10:11am]

    

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