Florida Democratic Party Sued for Shutting Down Presidential Primary

Florida Democratic Party Sued for Shutting Down Presidential Primary

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
December 28, 2023

The Florida Democratic Party has effectively canceled their primary race by only putting Biden's name on the ballot, despite challengers rising against the president in his own party.

In 2020, former President Donald Trump (R) faced a primary challenge from long-shot candidates himself.  Although not heavily reported, President Trump blew these Republican challengers out of the water.  Even this primary cycle, he will most likely do it again to even more prominent Republicans like Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL).

Democrats are now enraged that the Florida Democratic Party led by Nikki Fried has essentially ended the primary contest, especially US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN).  Phillips is running for president against President JoeBiden and has accused the Florida Democratic Party of "rigging" the election in a quote given to Politico.  The congressman further stated he would consider suing, and a push at the national convention if he was not at least put on the ballot.

However, somebody had already beat Phillips to the punch.  A Tampa attorney is now suing the Florida Democratic Party for omitting primary challengers from the primary ballot.  Michael Steinberg, a former chair for the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee and former candidate for Congress and the Florida Legislature filed the suit.

In the federal lawsuit, Steinberg claims the decision violates the constitutional rights of voters by excluding Phillips in an "arbitrary" fashion and violates people's due process and equal protection rights.  Steinberg has also insisted that Phillips is a legitimate candidate, making it unethical for him to be disqualified off the ballot for political reasons.

"He has appeared on numerous television news programs and his candidacy has been discussed by multiple media sources including television, print and social media," Steinberg says in his lawsuit. "The Florida Democratic Party cannot dispute the Democratic Party credentials of Congressman Dean Phillips. His platform is consistent with the platform of the Democratic Party, he is currently a member of Congress, and has mostly supported the position of President Joe Biden."

Steinberg also noted that the Democratic party in Florida has a "non-discretionary duty to prepare and approve a list of all recognized Democratic Presidential candidates, not just the ones they favor or choose."

Other candidates such as famous internet personality, Cenk Uygur and author Marianne Williamson have threatened litigation against the Florida Democratic Party for being disqualified off of the primary ballot.  These candidates have additionally raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for their campaigns.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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