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November 30, 2023

Phillips Campaign Condemns Florida Democratic Party for Canceling Presidential Primary

The Dean Phillips campaign denounces Florida Democratic Party power grab to gift all 250 of the state's delegates without a single vote being cast

Manchester, NH – Congressman Dean Phillips today launched his fight against the disenfranchisement of Florida voters in the wake of a decision by party insiders. The State Party confirmed that, despite building a national campaign and securing ballot spots in dozens of other states, Phillips and other Democratic presidential contenders will not be appearing on the Florida ballot, no Democratic presidential primary will take place in the state this year, and that all 250 state delegates will be gifted to Joe Biden.

In Florida, the only way to appear on the Democratic Presidential Primary ballot is for the state Party to submit a candidate’s name to the Florida Secretary of State. On October 29th – over a month before the November 30th deadline from the Florida Secretary of State – the Executive Committee of the Florida Democratic Party voted to recommend only Joe Biden for inclusion on the primary ballot. Through this decision, the Florida Democratic Party has stripped the right of every Florida Democrat to vote for the candidate of their choice since the state will not issue a ballot for a party primary with only one candidate.

“Americans would expect the absence of democracy in Tehran, not Tallahassee,” said Congressman Dean Phillips. “The intentional disenfranchisement of voters runs counter to everything for which our Democratic Party and country stand. Our mission as Democrats is to defeat authoritarians, not become them. In America, we the people choose those who represent us, not a handful of Party insiders seeking a coronation while preventing competition. That’s why I call on President Biden and Americans of all political affiliations to condemn and immediately address this blatant act of electoral corruption.”

Dean 2024 is currently consulting with attorneys about prospects for suit against the Florida Democratic Party on behalf of itself, Florida Democrats who will be denied the opportunity to be delegates for the candidates of their choice, and Florida Democrats who have been stripped of their right to vote.

In addition to seeking legal remedy, the Dean Phillips campaign will pursue actions at the national Democratic Party level. Florida’s Delegate Selection Plan is a flawed document containing numerous conflicting deadlines and processes for securing the recommendation of the Party to appear on the ballot.

“The Florida Party is engaging in the politburo politics of places like Cuba or the old Soviet Union. Communist Party insiders make the decision instead of the people,” said senior advisor Jeff Weaver. “After all that has been done to erode confidence in the democratic process since 2020, does our Party really want the legitimacy of our nominee to be put in question by this corrupt, rigged process?”

As applied in this case, Florida’s plan violates the requirement in Rule 14 of the Democratic Party’s delegate selection rules that delegates to the national convention “be allocated in a fashion that fairly reflects the expressed presidential preference or uncommitted status of the primary voters.” In this case, the Florida Party cannot allocate delegates according to the expressed presidential preference of Florida voters because no Florida voters are going to be able to express a preference.

The minimum penalty under Rule 21C(2) of the DNC’s delegate selection rules for this severe violation is a loss of half of the state’s delegates and stripping of the ability of super delegates from that state to vote at the convention.

Finally, if neither the Florida Democratic Party nor the Democratic National Committee uphold their responsibilities to correct these abuses, Dean 2024 will contest the credentials of each and every delegate to the national convention from Florida including the superdelegates, a process that could last days and result in the disqualification of every Florida delegate.

“I’m running for president because I believe in the value of democratic choice,” said Rep. Dean Phillips. “It is absolutely appalling to see that an element of my party, the Florida Democratic Party, has decided to throw away the fundamentals of American government. We need to repair our Democracy, not erode it.”

About Dean Phillips:

Dean Phillips is a third-term Democratic Congressman from Minnesota running for president because it’s time for change. He is a strong and independent voice of reason, focusing on bringing relief to Americans with affordable economic solutions, repairing our broken government, and reimagining a future that doesn’t repeat the same mistakes of the past 50 years. As one of the top ranked bipartisan Congressmen over the last six years, Dean Phillips is determined to take an inclusive, problem-solving, and collaborative approach to legislation that propels America forward to its next generation of leadership.

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