Interesting news out of Florida today – with State Senator Jeremy Ring co-authoring a bill to move up the Florida primary to January 29th to compete with South Carolina in terms of early primaries. In the article, Ring says:
“We know for sure that Iowa and New Hampshire do not represent the diversity of the United States of America,” Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, told the House Ethics and Elections Committee Thursday. “We know the state of Florida does. We know that, as Florida goes, so the country goes.”
While I appreciate what Senator Ring says, I think it quite amusing when I use that logic and would say that Ohio should then be earlier than Florida since it has statistically shown the direction of the country in elections. Other arguments include the fact that since Florida is such a large state, that smaller candidates would not have the ability to campaign across the state as effectively as they do in New Hampshire or Iowa. Candidates with better momentum and infrastructure would win out, or so the argument goes.
But I support the shift to an earlier date
Yes, I do – for a very simple reason. Florida needs to build its infrastructure – political infrastructure to be more inclusive and not simply in the last six weeks of an election cycle. The article rightly discusses the fact that Florida tends to be a fund raising stop for almost all candidates (where else to wealthy New Yorkers/famous people go to retire?) but then they leave as quickly as they came. By forcing an awareness of the political process earlier in Florida, the parties (yes, Florida Democratic Party, I am talking about you) will be required to develop a better infrastructure (note, I am not using the word “machine”), which should lead to an increase in public involvement (if only to have their voice heard). Florida has quickly become another microcosm of the United States – travel the state, and you will find almost every part of this country represented. Where better to get a send of the country than here.
Tags: Florida Primary, Jeremy Ring, Florida Democratic Party