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‘Open primaries’ effort has now raised more than $6 million for initiative campaign

Most of the money comes from the same place.

With June finance reports filed, a political committee behind an amendment to open primaries crossed a fundraising threshold.

The All Voters Vote (AVV) committee would open up Florida’s primary elections for House and Senate to all voters, including independents, starting in 2024, setting up a “top-two” system.

The citizen initiative proposes that “all registered voters (may) vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation.”

Party nominees, third party candidates, and everyone else would be on the same primary ballot, called by some a “blanket primary” and others a “jungle primary.”

The two candidates who do the best move on to a general election, unless just two candidates initially qualify, in which case the primary closes it out.

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Interestingly, the amendment makes no provision for someone winning over the crowded field with 51 percent outright.

After raising $700,225 in June, the committee has raised just over $6 million.

Of the $6.04 million total raised, the committee has just over $400,000 left as of the June report.

All but $225 of that June raise came from MBF Family Investments, a holding company for billionaire GOP donor Mike Fernandez.

In March, Fernandez described his “frustration [with] how Florida politicians live in fear of being ‘primaried.’ They know what is right but can’t do what is right because of fear of retribution.”

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Including his June contributions, he has pitched in $5.33 million of the $6.04 million the committee has raised.

The committee has over 242,000 petitions, roughly a third of the 766,200 needed to make the ballot in Nov. 2020.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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