Now that Florida’s presidential preference primary is over, I considered changing my party affiliation on my voter registration back to the Democratic Party. (See my December 21, 2011, post “An Unorthodox Suggestion” for background.) But I decided not to. Here’s why.
It’s likely that lots of Republican primaries will take place in Florida in August, given the number of candidates who have already filed to run. For seats representing residents of the Greater Naples, FL, area:
· 7 Republicans have filed to run for the 14th Congressional District seat currently held by Connie Mack IV, who has declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate;
· 14 Republicans including Mack have filed to run for that Senate seat against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson;
· Two Republicans have filed for the Collier County Commission District 1 seat currently held by Donna Fiala, three Republicans have filed for the District 3 seat currently held by Tom Henning, and two Republicans have filed for the District 5 seat currently held by Jim Coletta.
While no Republicans have filed to challenge incumbents Garrett Richter (Florida Senate District 37), Kathleen Passidomo (House District 76) or Matt Hudson (House District 101), and no more than one Democrat has filed for any of the races (except U.S. Senate, where Bill Nelson is the acknowledged primary winner), the filing deadline isn’t for several months and challengers could still come foward.
In a closed primary state like Florida, you can only vote in a party’s primary elections if you are registered as a member of that party.
In the November general elections for these seats, given the local electorate, I fear that the Republican candidate will win. So it’s in my interest to vote in the Republican primary for the candidate I think would best represent my interests, rather than not vote in the primary at all and let others decide.
So I’m going to remain a registered Republican for now and vote in the August Republican primaries. Any Florida voter wishing to do the same must change her party affiliation to Republican by completing a new voter registration form by July 16.