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Florida Democrats Spark Controversy by Canceling Presidential Primary

The decision made by Florida Democrats to cancel the state’s presidential primary has caused outrage among the campaign of Dean Phillips. The Phillips campaign argues that the party’s actions were a result of a flawed process for determining who makes the primary ballot.

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According to state law, it is up to the parties to decide which candidates are included on the ballot for the primary. The deadline for parties to submit their approved candidate list to state election officials is Thursday.

However, Florida Democrats sent a notice to the state on November 1, only including Joe Biden as the approved candidate, effectively canceling the primary since only one candidate was on the ballot.

Phillips entered the race a few days prior to the notice, and Marianne Williamson had been campaigning for months already. Phillips called the handling of the situation by Florida Democrats a “blatant act of electoral corruption” and demanded Biden address the issue.

The Florida Democratic Party Chair, Nikki Fried, defended the party’s actions, stating that they followed their standard process outlined on their website. Fried criticized Phillips’ comments, claiming they were “conspiratorial and inappropriate” and that comparing the state of Florida to the Iranian regime was unjustified.

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Florida Democrats cited their delegate selection plan as the basis for their decision, although it does not specifically outline the deadline for candidates to request placement on the primary ballot.

The initial version of the plan mentioned preparing and approving a list of “recognized” candidates, while a revised version submitted on November 1 stated that the list would be approved at the state party convention.

The convention started on October 27, the same day Phillips launched his campaign, and ended on October 29 when Biden was approved as the sole candidate.

Conflict arises over the timeline of communication between Phillips’ campaign and the Florida Democratic Party. Phillips’ campaign claims to have sent two letters on November 7 to the party providing staff contact information and emphasizing their commitment to participation in the delegate selection process.

However, the party spokesperson, Eden Giagnorio, claims Phillips’ campaign did not reach out until November 22, which was not enough time to convene the state executive committee to address the issue.

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Giagnorio also stated that there is no requirement for presidential candidates to take any action to get on the ballot. She confirmed that there are no plans to add more names to the approved candidate list by the deadline.

In addition to considering a lawsuit against the Florida Democratic Party, Phillips’ campaign plans to take the matter to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). They argue that Florida Democrats’ actions violate the national party’s rules for delegate allocation.

A spokesperson for the DNC offered guidance to the campaign on state party processes, but Phillips’ team did not take up the offer. They plan to contest the credentials of each delegate from Florida at the convention if their concerns are not addressed.

Phillips’ strategy of challenging the primary process is reminiscent of previous insurgent candidates like Bernie Sanders, who claimed the 2016 primary was rigged against him. Some Democrats believe these accusations harmed the party’s nominee in the general election. Phillips recently apologized to Sanders on social media, acknowledging that he was right about the rigged primary system.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Phillips and former manager of Sanders’ 2016 campaign, criticized the Florida Democratic Party’s actions, comparing it to the politics of communist countries.

Weaver expressed concerns about the erosion of confidence in the democratic process and questioned whether the party wants the legitimacy of their nominee to be questioned.

The process for candidates to get on the presidential primary ballot varies by state. In some states, candidates must gather voter signatures and pay a filing fee to the government. Other states automatically include active candidates on the ballot, while some delegate the process to state parties.

Florida’s decision to cancel the presidential primary contrasts with the neighboring state of Georgia, which included three names on its primary ballot after an open process that considered all candidates who submitted a written request.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!