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  1. Florida Politics

It's the law: Florida presidential primary is March 15, 2016

Published Mar. 20, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — With two homegrown candidates expected to be in the 2016 race, Gov. Rick Scott wasted no time signing into law a bill setting a new, later date for Florida's presidential primary.

Republicans in the Legislature championed HB 7035 — which will make the primary March 15, 2016 — after their national party penalized the state for early primaries in 2008 and 2012.

The later date will allow Florida's primary to be winner-take-all, putting significant support behind whoever wins next year.

"Our issue is just to be relevant," Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said Wednesday.

The bill passed unanimously in both chambers, just Wednesday in the Senate. The governor has seven days to consider bills that reach his desk during the 60-day legislative session. Thursday's signing of the new primary date was the first law of his second term.