No ‘primary purgatory’ for Florida at Democratic conventionby George Bennett | September 5th, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Breakfast meetings of Florida’s Democratic and Republican convention delegations have many similarities — attractively arranged plates of food, amped-up partisan audiences, extensive bad-mouthing the other party’s nominee and a parade of speakers reminding delegates, just in case they forgot, how crucial Florida is in the presidential race.
One big difference: Florida Republican delegates heard regular jokes from visiting speakers about their lodging at the Innisbrook golf resort, 30 miles from the convention site in what Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam called “primary purgatory.” The GOP punished Florida with a distant site because the state broke party rules by scheduling its primary Jan. 31 rather than waiting until March.
Florida’s Democratic delegation, on the other hand, is housed in the Marriott City Center hotel downtown, a few blocks away from the convention site. Florida Democratic Chairman Rod Smith said the Sunshine State delegation got the site after he drew a low lottery number when states chose hotels.