The Florida GOP will require a loyalty pledge to the eventual Republican nominee to make the primary ballot.
“All GOP candidates will have to pledge their loyalty to the eventual Republican nominee to make the March 19 primary, a contest that could tip the balance of the crowded race since Florida’s contest is a winner-take-all primary,” Politico reports.
Florida Republicans are requiring 2024 presidential candidates to sign a loyalty pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee in order to qualify for the primary ballot next year. https://t.co/eH8pR3TFIc
— CNN (@CNN) July 6, 2023
“More election rigging out of the @FloridaGOP which has just announced that if Presidential candidates want to be on the ballot, they must sign a loyalty pledge and also pay to attend the Florida Sunshine summit,” investigative reporter Laura Loomer wrote.
“This is such a blatant conflict of interest that undermines the integrity of our elections. How can they be neutral when they are both financially benefiting from their wives relationship with DeSantis?” Loomer continued.
“Once again, the state party is trying to select our nominee instead of letting the voters decide,” she added.
More election rigging out of the @FloridaGOP which has just announced that if Presidential candidates want to be on the ballot, they must sign a loyalty pledge and also pay to attend the Florida Sunshine summit.
As I exposed 2 weeks ago, Florida GOP is and has been… pic.twitter.com/CGD2k9dGqs
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) July 7, 2023
“The pledge – which is the word-for-word the same language as the RNC pledge – was requested and passed by our members to ensure maximum unity heading into the General Election,” Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler told The Hill.
From The Hill:
The requirement from the Florida GOP echoes the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) requirement that candidates pledge support for the eventual nominee in order to get on the party’s presidential primary debate stage, among other qualifying criteria.
Some Republican presidential contenders have bristled at the RNC’s requirement.
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie has said the RNC’s ask is a “useless idea.” Candidate Will Hurd has said he “won’t be signing any kind of pledges.”
DeSantis, the governor of the Sunshine State, has sidestepped questions about whether he’d back the eventual nominee. The Florida Republican has regularly polled as the closest GOP challenger to Trump, who is leading the party’s polling and who has also been noncommittal about whether he’d support the primary winner.
The Florida presidential primary is set to be held March 19.
WLTR previously reported Ron DeSantis side-stepped the question on whether he would support Trump if he wins the GOP presidential nomination.
If that's the case, then DeSantis should be disqualified from the Florida GOP primary.
The only other conclusion we can make is DeSantis has an exemption from the Florida GOP's loyalty pledge requirement.
Loomer exposed Ron and Casey DeSantis’ allies are rigging Florida’s GOP Primary against Trump. DeSantis refused to commit support to Trump if Trump wins the nomination. This fact means DeSantis is exempt from the Florida GOP loyalty pledge.https://t.co/2KD7FAppLD
— Charles R Downs (@TheCharlesDowns) July 7, 2023
The Republican Party of Florida approved the change at its executive board meeting held in mid-May and included the new provisions in an updated version of its bylaws that it filed with state election officials but have not been widely distributed.
The new oath, which includes a promise to “endorse” the GOP nominee and requires a candidate to pledge not to run as an independent or third-party candidate, mirrors language adopted by the Republican National Committee for its first debate.
“We were trying to be consistent with what the debate was requiring,” said Evan Power, vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida, who said that campaigns were notified about the changes. “I don’t think this will come as a surprise.”
The change by Florida Republicans comes amid an ongoing back-and-forth from some Republican presidential candidates about whether they would support the nominee, especially if it’s Trump, who remains mired in legal trouble.