LAS VEGAS – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is preparing to challenge the Republican Party of Florida after losing the Republican presidential primary there to Mitt Romney on Tuesday.
The “winner-take-all” state had 50 delegates, all of which went to Romney, who won the state with 46 percent of the vote. The Republican National Convention voted to make early voting states proportional for the 2012 election. Florida was penalized for keeping the “winner-take-all” status. If Florida allotted proportional delegates, Gingrich would likely have picked up 16 delegates, while Romney would have walked away with 23 delegates, leaving the other 11 delegates to be split among Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.
“Florida was held before a certain date,” Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said. “Therefore, we’re asking the state of Florida Republican Party to enforce the existing rule.”
Hammond told reporters Thursday at a campaign stop in Las Vegas that the campaign is mailing a letter to the Republican Party of Florida, asking it to enforce the RNC proportional rule.
Before the letter had even been sent, the Florida RNC Chairman Lenny Curry responded in a statement that the state would not budge.
“Florida was winner-take-all before Election Day, we were winner take all on Election Day, we will remain winner take all,” Curry said. “As Bill McCollum confirmed to Fox News today, had the outcome been different on Tuesday, he would not be seeking publicity for a challenge to the rules adopted by Florida’s Republicans. It is a shame when the loser of a contest agrees to the rules before, then cries foul after losing.”
When Hammond was asked if the campaign would be pursuing challenging the Florida RNC had they won, his response was “probably not.”
Gingrich has one event Friday in Nevada – a grassroots rally in Las Vegas.
The Gingrich campaign insisted in Florida that it is competing in every state even though the number of public events have been minimal in Nevada so far.