GOP stands by Florida’s winner-take-all rule

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The Florida Republican primary will still allocate all of its delegates to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Maybe. Probably.

As long as the Republican National Committee doesn’t accept a pending challenge to the winner-take-all rule for Florida’s primary by the campaign of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who lost Tuesday’s primary to Romney by double digits. Fox News reported Thursday (via The News Service of Florida) that Gingrich campaign officials were going to launch a challenge to the new delegate allocation rules.

The Gingrich campaign says Florida’s decision to award all of its delegates to the winner of the race violated RNC rules. The RNC said it doesn’t think it can now tell Florida how to divvy up its delegates. Even a Gingrich campaign memo given to Fox News suggests that the matter is “unclear.”

Speaking on Fox, Gingrich backer and former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum conceded that the Gingrich campaign wouldn’t have complained had it won Florida and been awarded all 50 delegates.

“But Romney would be,” he said. “You’ve got to realize that whoever was going to lose is going to make this challenge.”

The RNC and the Republican Party of Florida have said repeatedly that Florida will be a winner-take-all state, and RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry reiterated that stance in a statement issued Thursday.

“Florida was winner take all before Election Day, we were winner take all on Election Day, we will remain winner take all. … It is a shame when the loser of a contest agrees to the rules before, then cries foul after losing,” Curry said.

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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.