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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Paula Dockery fighting early primary day



State Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, is calling on Republicans to lobby the committee created to set Florida presidential primary date and urge them to comply with the RNC rules on the nominating calendar. The RNC is forbidding everybody but Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding elections before March 6. The odds of her convincing party leaders to back off Jan. 31? Slim.


Here's her letter: 

Since the announcement that Republican Party leadership plans to move the Florida primary date to January 31, I have heard an outpouring of concern from constituents and party activists. While we are all in agreement that Florida is an important state that should play a key role in the national election, attempting to circumvent existing rules or force the hand of the Republican National Convention likens Florida to a child throwing a tantrum because she isn’t getting her way. 
I agree wholeheartedly with the comments from Paul Senft, Florida’s National Committeeman, the resolution from the Polk County Republican Executive Committee and the position taken by the Florida Federation of Republican Women. It is abundantly clear that Republican National Committee fully intends to penalize the Florida delegation for failure to follow the rules by loss of delegates, loss of guest passes, unfavorable seating, and unfavorable lodging. These penalties which would remove half of Florida’s delegates, would result in the loss of Florida’s ability to have a significant impact in the nomination of the presidential candidate, and hurt the ability of the host committee to raise the necessary funds for the convention.
The case has not been made for how Florida would benefit by moving the primary from early March to late January. In fact, Florida would benefit more by having a full slate of delegates for abiding by the rules, for continuing to have all of the candidates visit our state and spend money in our state over a longer period of time, and for not setting off the domino effect among other states all wanting to follow suit and jump their place in line.
The committee that will vote tomorrow is made up of the following nine individuals. Please contact them to make your voices heard.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 4:35pm]


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