Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scott's Signature Sets Florida Presidential Primary for March 15

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed HB 7035 into law on the afternoon of Thursday, March 19, completing a fast-tracking of the bill during the two plus weeks of the Florida legislative session. The legislation clears up the language of the Florida presidential primary statute by replacing a section intended to make the primary a bit more mobile -- not to mention compliant with the national party rules -- with a permanent date.

The last two changes made to the presidential primary law in the Sunshine state either left the date up to a committee (2011) or up to the interpretation of what constitutes a penalty (2013). HB 7035 becoming law removes all doubt by specifying a permanent date in the law for the first time since the 2007 law scheduled the primary for the last Tuesday in January.

The position of the Florida presidential primary -- now on the third Tuesday in March -- is the latest that it has ever been scheduled during the post-reform era. For years -- 1972-2004 -- the Florida primary was set for the second Tuesday in March. Early in that period, the Florida primary was among the very earliest contests, but over intervening cycles, other states either joined Florida on that second Tuesday in March date or scheduled earlier contests as national party rules allowed.

Are you following FHQ on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook? Click on the links to join in.

No comments: