Lawsuit Alleges Republican Primary Penalties Dilutes Hispanic Vote

Hillsborough Hispanic Elections Commission members, from left, Victor DiMaio, David Chalela, David Steinberg and Mary Ascuncion Lopez
TAMPA (2012-1-31) -

A group representing Hispanic voters has sued the national Republican Party, saying its decision to penalize Florida for moving its primary to January has diluted the Hispanic vote.

The lawsuit against the Republican National Committee was filed by the Hillsborough Hispanic Coalition, a nonprofit group made up of several Latino organizations. They believe the decision to halve the number of Florida delegates to the upcoming GOP national convention dilutes the voting power of Hispanics.

"We're asking the court to reinstate Florida's full delegation of 100 delegates," says attorney Michael Steinberg.

He says if that doesn't work, they want the RNC to schedule the 2016 primary so Hispanics are fairly represented.

Steinberg says there's more Hispanics in Florida than in the first three primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina combined. Although a similar lawsuit in 2008 against the national Democratic Party was dismissed in court; Steinberg says this suit has different language that could pass the court's muster.

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