Primary runoffs not returning as election bill dies
House Speaker Paul Renner spoke about the positives and negatives of requiring Primary runoffs. But no committee in his chamber weighed the issue. Image via Colin Hackley/Florida Politics.

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'I think I heard Carly Simon singing in the background, "You must think this bill is about you."'

Runoff elections for Primary contests won’t be returning to Florida any time soon. House Speaker Paul Renner said legislation that emerged last week is dead for the Regular Session.

“We had a conversation. It was a short conversation,” Renner told reporters, acknowledging the vehement opposition from many Republicans to the bill (PCB SAC 24-06).

The bill would have brought back runoffs for Primary Elections, which Florida held until 2002. In any Primary contest where no single candidate received 50% or more, the top two vote-getters would square off in a second Primary to see who would go on to the General Election. The change wouldn’t have taken effect until the 2026 election cycle.

Another part of the bill would have eliminated the number of drop boxes a county could set up to receive mail ballots. That provision upset Democrats, putting more scrutiny on the bill.

Critics of the measure — including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, and state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican and former Republican Party of Florida Chairman — argued it would hurt more conservative candidates. Gaetz posted on social media that he wasn’t going to run for Governor in 2026, so lawmakers didn’t need to do it.

Renner didn’t mention Gaetz specifically, but indicated it wasn’t aimed at helping or hurting any particular candidate.

“I think I heard Carly Simon singing in the background, ‘You must think this bill is about you,’ because we certainly had some feedback from people who thought it was,” Renner said.

Renner said he first heard the idea of looking into reverting back to Primary runoffs last summer, but the bill only emerged last week. But after the backlash, the State Affairs Committee opted to postpone hearing the bill.

With two and a half weeks left of the Regular Session, Renner said there isn’t enough time to take on something so controversial.

“We’re in a tight time frame now. We don’t have a lot of bandwidth and time to do things that are not going to create consensus,” Renner said.

Gray Rohrer


5 comments

  • JD

    February 22, 2024 at 9:15 pm

    F@cking pussy Republicans.

    And the howler GQP monkeys call the Democrats crooks?

    Shameless and spineless.

    • Impotent Qanon QOP Failedx100

      February 24, 2024 at 7:35 am

      Incels gonna be involuntarily celibate;

      Mayorkas? Still enjoying his salary, job, benefits, never missed a snack this whole time.

      Biden? Still President Biden.

      Faux News? $787,000,000 thinner.

      Sincerely,

      George Santos

  • Tom Palmer

    February 23, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    More wingnuts minority candidates.

  • Impotent Qanon QOP Failedx100

    February 24, 2024 at 7:32 am

    The impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is likely to die a quick death in the Senate after the House succeeded in its second attempt to rebuke the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chief Tuesday night.

    Faced with a potential third impeachment trial in five years, the Senate is likely to avoid the matter entirely. Senators expect Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to move to either dismiss the two articles against Mayorkas or to refer them to the committee level, effectively killing the process.

    The Senate returns to work on Feb. 26 and will immediately be faced with having to fund part of the government by the end of that week. Schumer is likely to focus on that issue and not Mayorkas.

    “Whether they move quickly to dismiss or bury in committee, I’m not sure. I see no need for the Senate at this point and time, given the fact that we need to, among other things, fund the government, spend any time on this — and there will be plenty of Republicans who agree,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.).

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 24, 2024 at 5:58 pm

      The Senate trial should be really really long, very very public, and used 100% for mocking the dipstick GOP impeachment which would likely yield some House seat flips from red to blue.

      The MAGA wing gave the Democrats this gift. They need to make a spectacle of the trial, but those on trial will be the House G0Ps that voted for impeachment despite not so much as any allegation of any crime.

Comments are closed.


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