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Florida Could Move Presidential Primary Up to Jan. 31

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told CNN that he expects his state will hold a presidential primary on January 31. A state commission is expected to decide on the issue on Friday.

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Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told CNN on Sept. 27 that he expects his state to hold its presidential primary on Jan. 31. A state commission is expected to decide on the issue on Friday.

"We are expecting to meet on Friday [Sept. 30] from 11 to 12, and I expect that they will pick Jan. 31 as Florida's primary date," Cannon said.

If that happens, CNN reports, it could "throw the carefully arranged Republican nominating calendar into disarray." Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the traditional early contests, would then be expected to move their primaries and caucuses up to early or mid-January to preserve their status.

States are required to submit the dates of their primaries and caucuses to the Republican National Committee by Saturday.

MSNBC reports that the four traditional early states had all already scheduled contests for February. While Florida's move still requires a committee vote, all the pieces seem to be in place:

Cannon said he has spoken to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Senate President Mike Haridopolos—both of whom also selected members for the committee—and everyone is on the same page about the Jan. 31 date. So Cannon expects the vote to be unanimous.

Florida would violate RNC rules by holding its primary before March 6, and could lose half its delegates at the national convention, but Cannon dismissed the repercussions.

"It's more important that Florida voters voices be heard than to stringently comply with GOP rules," he said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cannon said Florida's hand was forced by other states that moved up their primaries, like Missouri, which has settled on Feb. 7.