Presidential Primary Bill Advances

The bill to move up the Florida Presidential Preference primary hits the House floor on the same day that California’s governor is signing their bill to do the same.

Florida House members Thursday gave preliminary passage to a measure that would change the primary date from the second Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in February, or first Tuesday after New Hampshire’s primary, whichever comes first.

Supporters say as California’s move shows, there’s lots of competition for attention from presidential candidates, and Florida wants to be at the top of the pile.

One of the bill's supporters is Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Miami Republican.

“As far as I’m concerned, I think the earlier the better. Florida has people here who represent the entire population of this country. We have such a melting pot in this state that I think our voice should be heard as soon as possible in the presidential primary, so the sooner, the better."

The House must take a final vote on the bill (HB 537) before it can move to the Senate, where it could face some challenges. Senators want to move the primary up, but they favor a later date.

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