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Florida Democrats reject second primary vote

•  Court News     updated  2008/03/18 05:18

The Florida Democratic party yesterday gave up its attempt to organise a second primary in the state after receiving thousands of letters from voters rejecting the idea.

The decision, announced in a statement by the state party chairwoman, Karen Thurman, is a blow to Hillary Clinton, who badly needs Florida's ballot results counted to pull closer to her rival for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama, in the delegate count.

The Clinton campaign has vowed to fight the decision, which leaves in limbo the fate of roughly 1.7m Democratic votes from January's controversial primary.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) reprimanded Florida for holding its election before February 5, in violation of party rules, and refuses to give the state's 210 delegates a say at the nominating convention.

"We spent the weekend reviewing your messages, and while your reasons vary widely, the consensus is clear: Florida doesn't want to vote again," Thurman wrote to Florida Democrats. "So we won't."

A second vote was expected to cost up to $25m (£12.5m), with none of the state party, the national party or the Florida taxpayers willing to pick up the bill.

Clinton got 50% to Obama's 33% of the Florida poll, although neither candidate campaigned actively in the state. Clinton currently trails the Illinois senator both in the delegate count and the popular vote, and if she is to take the nomination she desperately needs Florida in her win column for the August nominating convention.

In a statement, the New York senator's campaign renewed its calls for the result of the January election to be honoured.


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