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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Just in the nick of time, Tim Tebow became a real Republican

Tim Tebow, who will speak at next week's Republican National Convention, was registered as "no party affiliation" until he re-registered as a Republican on Feb. 16.

Associated Press

Tim Tebow, who will speak at next week's Republican National Convention, was registered as "no party affiliation" until he re-registered as a Republican on Feb. 16.

14

July

Tim Tebow was a crowd favorite as a Florida Gator, and he's sure to electrify the crowd at Donald Trump's Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week.

The Heisman-winning QB from Jacksonville was among the surprise names on a list of speakers released Thursday by the convention CEO, Jeff Larson.

RELATED: Pam Bondi, Rick Scott, Tim Tebow to speak at Donald Trump's GOP convention

As it turns out, Tebow became a registered Republican in Florida just in the nick of time, avoiding the state's unpopular closed primary system as he eluded so many would-be tacklers at The Swamp.

But even after switching at the last minute, he did not vote in the state's Republican presidential primary, the Duval County elections office confirmed. Duval elections supervisor Mike Hogan sent postcards to all of the county's unaffiliated voters early this year, cautioning them that they couldn't vote in the primary unless they joined one of the two major parties.

Tebow, a 28-year-old native of Ponte Vedra Beach, now lives in Jacksonville. He was one of the many unaffiliated Florida voters registered as NPA, or no party affiliation, since 2013. But according to voting records, he re-registered Republican on Feb. 16 of this year. That was the last day a voter could change parties to be eligible to vote in Florida's closed presidential preference primary, which Trump won overwhelmingly on March 15.

The Washington Post recently reported that a Trump charity, not the wealthy businessman himself, paid $12,000 at a fund-raising event in Palm Beach in 2012 for a signed Tebow jersey and helmet that he wore when he was with the Denver Broncos.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 14, 2016 4:35pm]

    

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