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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida GOP awash in primaries



LAKELAND — Florida Republican leaders worked hard to thwart any costly and potentially divisive primaries in this busy election cycle. They could not have failed more and looked less disciplined if they were Democrats.

State Sen. Paula Dockery became the latest to thumb her nose at the party establishment, formally announcing her campaign for governor Tuesday night, five months after a battalion of party leaders gathered alongside Attorney General Bill McCollum in Orlando to anoint him as their gubernatorial standard-bearer. ... With the economy and the multitude of open statewide races making raising money harder than ever, state GOP leaders see an array of potentially tough primaries that could drain campaign accounts by the general election.

"My original hope was that we would be able to focus on the Democrats and the general election, and conserve as much of our financial resources as possible, but that doesn't always happen the way you would like,'' said state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer, who provoked a grass roots firestorm when he tried to invoke an obscure party rule allowing the state party to unite behind Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate.

Look at almost every statewide race, and you'll see contests for the Republican nomination.



[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:05pm]


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