Push to delay state primary worries Tampa because of RNC planning

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Tampa officials are worried about a move in the Legislature to push the state primary election back a week, putting it on the Tuesday before the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

The reasons for the move aren’t clear but may relate to this year’s redistricting for congressional and legislative elections. There is concern that passing the redistricting plans and having them approved by federal and state judicial authorities could take too long to allow for candidate qualifying and campaigns.

But Hillsborough County Elections Supervisor Earl Lennard and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn say preparations for the convention, which might include blocking streets downtown, could cause havoc with an election on the proposed Aug. 21 date.

The convention will begin Aug. 27. In a memo about the change, Lennard said streets could be closed and access to downtown areas limited as early as Aug. 20.

At least a half-dozen polling places downtown could be affected, election officials said, including the headquarters in the Frederick B. Karl County Center downtown.

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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.