Florida Moves Primary Up To January 31


State leaders on Friday set Florida’s 2012 presidential primary for Jan. 31, bucking national party rules and ensuring that several other states will leapfrog Florida and set earlier elections

Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida decided Friday to hold its Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31, snubbing a party rule against fast-track delegate-selection for 2012 and triggering angry responses from traditional early voting states which will now likely rejigger their calendars to stay ahead.

The move actually thwarts efforts by both major political parties to delay presidential primaries and caucuses. Their aim has been to avoid a repeat of the 2008 scenario, when states jumped ahead of each other at that time in attempts to increase their influence in the process
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In Florida, a special nine-member committee appointed by legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Scott voted 7-2 to set the January date two days after House Speaker Dean Cannon announced that's what it was expected to do.

Cannon and other Florida GOP leaders said they didn't want to jump the traditional early states but wanted to make sure Florida was fifth, even the move was a violation of party rules