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Dean rides herd on Florida Democrats

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean could force Florida Democrats to cast aside the results of the Jan. 29 primary and stage their own election, says one party insider.

In an e-mail to other activists, DNC member Jon Ausman of Tallahassee quoted an interview Dean gave to a South Carolina television station. "Florida's going to have a different kind of electoral procedure than they think they will,'' Dean said. "We want to preserve South Carolina's uniqueness.''

The new state law that bumped up Florida's primary from mid-March to Jan. 29 violated the calendar set by the Democratic national party, which allows only four smaller states to vote that early.

In order for Florida Democrats to send delegates to the national convention, Dean could make them hold a separate election after Feb. 5. "This could happen,'' Ausman warned.