As punishment for moving the state’s primary earlier than the Republican National Committee rules allow, Florida’s delegation was slashed from 99 to 50 voting members. There was hope that the party would forgive and forget, but it’s increasingly likely that’s not going to happen, according to several sources within the Republican Party of Florida.
State officials had attempted to negotiate an arrangement with the RNC, which stripped Florida of half its delegates for moving up its presidential primary date to Jan. 31.
In addition to the Sunshine State, the delegations from Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina all had their delegations slashed in half.
Hillsborough County Republican Party Chairman Art Wood isn’t sure moving up the primary was worth it.
“We didn’t have the influence (in the primary election) we thought we were going to have,” Wood said. “So I hope our officials who make this decision again in four years will come back and think really seriously about that.”
Florida Republicans are hoping the RNC will at least let the punished delegates attend the convention as guests.
“If we can’t formally seat the full delegation, maybe we can still get the full delegation inside the building so they have the whole experience,” said Wood.