Cannon wants Florida to go before Arizona, which will now hold its primary Feb. 28. He said Tuesday that a commission to set the date will be appointed by the end of this week or next week.
Cannon, along with fellow Republicans Gov. Rick Scott and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, will appoint commission members. The group must decide a date by Oct. 1.
Cannon predicted a Feb. 21 primary although he said keeping Florida fifth was more important.
A February date would run afoul of the Republican National Committee’s rules. The punishment for setting a date before March 6 is stripping the state of half its delegates.