Florida wants to keep early presidential primary date

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House Speaker Dean Cannon is determined to make Florida the fifth state in the nation when it comes to choosing a presidential nominee.

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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.