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. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers?

    Blogs

    The following is from the Miami Herald:

  3. GOP senators blink on a big chance to repeal 'Obamacare'

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — After seven years of emphatic campaign promises, Senate Republicans demonstrated Wednesday they don't have the stomach to repeal "Obamacare" when it really counts, as the Senate voted 55-45 to reject legislation undoing major portions of Barack Obama's law without replacing it.

    U.S. Sen. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) talks with reporters as he walks to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in Washington, DC. [Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
  4. Rick Baker's debate answer revives painful St. Pete controversy

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Former Mayor Bill Foster fired one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis III, six years ago for disobeying an order to attend the funeral of a slain police officer.

    St. Petersburg police officers stand by two caskets before the beginning of the 2011 funeral services for Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]
  5. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]