Members named to the Presidential Preference Primary Committee; Dems call the exercise a waste of time

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The governor, Senate and House on Friday named the members of the Presidential Preference Primary Committee, who will decide the date for Florida’s presidential preference primary. Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, named Sen. John Thrasher of St. Augustine and Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah, both Republicans, and Democratic Sen. Gary Siplin of Orlando.

House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, chose two Republicans, Reps. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami, and Seth McKeel of Lakeland and Democrat Cynthia Stafford of Miami.

Gov. Rick Scott named former Gov. Bob Martinez and his deputy chief of staff Jenn Ungru, both Republicans, and former Democratic state Sen. Al Lawson.

The Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement in response to Presidential Preference Primary Date Selection Committee appointments by Governor Scott, House Speaker Cannon and Senate President Haridopolos.

“This whole exercise is a waste of time and taxpayer money. In a time of fiscal crisis for Florida’s families, Republican leaders in Tallahassee have created a dog-and-pony show committee tasked with setting a primary date we all know GOP insiders have already agreed upon.

“It’s time to stop wasting the state’s money and leaving Florida voters in limbo. Both the Republican and Democratic national committees have agreed to rules and those rules need to be followed. I would urge this committee to do just that.”

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.