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Senate Pres, Governor split on primary date


By James Call

Tallahassee, FL – The pieces are set for the Florida Legislature to debate whether the state should hold its presidential primary weeks before any other state. James Call reports, a powerful lawmaker wants Florida to vote in January.

Democrats have filed bills to move the primary back to March. In 2008, the National Democratic Party penalized Florida for jumping ahead of an agreed upon schedule. But Senate President Mike Haridopolos said it makes sense for Florida to hold its presidential primary early and he wants voters to state their presidential preference in January.

"Florida is the most important state in the presidential election. I think the position we are in right now is the correct one. We're most likely going to decide who the next president of the united states is. And I think it makes a lot of sense if we do it early in the process."

The Legislature moved the primary to January 2008 which was within the time frame that the parties had scheduled primaries for smaller states. Both national parties have threatened to strip Florida of delegates if it violates that schedule. But Haridopolos said it is a risk worth taking.