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Monday, May 21, 2007
Florida presidential primary moved up

Watch Florida Gov. Charlie Crist explain on Monday why he has officially moved Florida's presidential primary up to late January.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill Monday that officially moves the Sunshine State's presidential primary to January 29th, the same day as the South Carolina Democratic primary and following three other early nominating contests in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.

As many as two dozen states have either scheduled or are considering moving their nominating contests to Feb. 5th, which will likely produce presidential nominees for both parties.

Florida is likely to face sanctions from the both parties for moving its primary date ahead of Feb. 5. Republican National Committee rules state that Florida will be stripped 50 percent of its delegates for moving up the primary, according to RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.

The Democratic National Committee would also penalize Florida 50 percent of its delegates and a 100 percent of its super delegates (typically DNC members and members of Congress) if it goes ahead with the primary as planned. Moreover, any candidate who campaigns for the primary will lose the delegates he or she wins.

But Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Stacie Paxton said the DNC is looking to work out a party-run event.

"This is not the first time that a state legislature has set its primary on a date outside DNC party rules," she said. "As with similar situations in the past, the DNC is working closely with the state party to look at the alternatives for proceeding in accordance with the rules."

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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