Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon said he expects Florida to hold its presidential primary on the last day of January, a move that would scramble the calendar and accelerate the nomination process earlier than party leaders had wanted.
The news of Florida's planned primary date was first reported by CNN's Peter Hamby.
Cannon confirmed to Hotline On Call that the state commission reviewing potential primary dates is meeting Friday, and expects them to choose January 31 as the primary date. States are required to submit their proposed primary and caucus dates by Saturday.
Florida's move is in violation of RNC rules that would prevent any state other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding primaries before March 6. States that violate the rule could lose up to half of their delegates. But those rules have been flouted by other states, with Michigan and Arizona moving up their primaries to February 28.
Cannon said a suggestion from the RNC that Florida could vote on February 21 and still be the fifth state to cast ballots was disingenuous, pointing to Michigan and Arizona's accelerated calendar. Other states, like Georgia and Missouri, still could hold primaries or caucuses in that February timeframe.
"February 21st would not allow us to be fifth. They're taking liberties with the truth," Cannon said.