Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Latino group sues, saying GOP primary schedule hurts Hispanic Republicans

TAMPA — A local Latino group Monday sued Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, contending that the GOP's primary schedule unconstitutionally dilutes the electoral clout of Hispanic Republican voters.

Moreover, the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, asks a federal judge to stop the Republican Party from taking away half of Florida's delegates for scheduling today's presidential preference primary earlier than party rules allow.

A GOP spokesman said the party's legal staff needed to review the suit before he could comment.

The plaintiffs are the nonprofit Hillsborough Hispanic Coalition and Ralph A. Emmanuelli, 67, a Pinellas County Republican and the founder of UNO Federation Community Services, a nonprofit group working to integrate Hispanic residents into the American mainstream, the lawsuit says.

The complaint contends that the Republican Party's primary schedule "results in severely limited influence of Hispanic voters in selecting nominees."

"The early states don't represent a proportionate share of the Hispanic voters in this country," said Tampa attorney Michael Steinberg, who filed the suit.

Hispanic voters constitute about 9 percent of eligible voters nationwide, according to the lawsuit, but only 1.7 percent of eligible state voters in Iowa, 1.1 percent in South Carolina and 1.5 percent in New Hampshire. They're about 13.5 percent of registered voters in Nevada, but fewer than one in five are Republicans.

The suit also contends that the GOP's penalty of stripping Florida of 50 percent of its delegates at the Republican National Convention has "significant adverse effects" on Hispanic Republican voters.

The suit is being publicized by Victor DiMaio, a Tampa Democratic political consultant. Steinberg is a former chairman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. But both said the issue is aimed at trying to protect voters in each party.

"This is really a non-partisan issue, because both parties have the same rules," DiMaio said. "I'm just as upset at the Democratic Party."

In 2009, a federal appeals panel dismissed DiMaio's complaint that the Democratic National Committee hurt Florida Democratic voters by taking away the state's delegates after it scheduled its primary earlier than party rules allowed. A settlement restored all delegates votes at the convention.

Latino group sues, saying GOP primary schedule hurts Hispanic Republicans 01/30/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  4. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  5. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion."