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Democrat wants special election date pushed back

Rep. Elaine Schwartz, a Hollywood Democrat, said Monday that she has filed a bill that would push back the date of the proposed vote on the constitutional amendment until Feb. 5. Schwartz also wants the presidential primary moved to the same date _ a week after Jan. 29th _ the current date of the primary.

Schwartz maintains that extending the date would give lawmakers more time to work out a deal on property taxes _ which right now looks iffy since Senate President Ken Pruitt told senators this morning that they won't be needed in Tallahassee until Thursday at the earliest. But moving the date would also bring Democrats into line with national Democratic rules and thereby preserving Florida's delegates to the national convention.

"Our voters want our voice to be counted,'' said Schwartz in a statement. "We've been marginalized when Florida has had such an enormous impact in general elections. We don't want to be left out of choosing the candidate."

Schwartz acknowledges that there may be "stiff resistance" from the GOP-controlled Legislature to her bill, but said the need for an extension of time is "all too obvious now."