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Hold the champagne?

Democratic state committeewoman Cindy Lerner says Miami-Dade County's Democratic Executive Committee jumped the gun last week when it endorsed in three Miami congressional districts.

Lerner said the committee by giving the nod to Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez and Annette Taddeo "acted prematurely, in violation of the Florida Democratic Party's bylaws," which she says require that no endorsements be made before the close of candidate qualifying. She said the action will be declared void, but that after qualifying ends, "the DEC will move expeditiously to issue an endorsement according to the procedures set out in the bylaws."

Campaign committee chairman Augusto Granados, though, says the committee went by the books, following a process it established a year ago under Garcia's leadership. (Garcia is stepping down as party chair to run for Congress.)

"It was a process she participated in creating," Granados said. "We announced the meeting, we had a quorum and it was unanimous."

Garcia is challenging Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart; Martinez is running against Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart; and Taddeo is running against Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Democrat Richard Allbritton, the president of Sigma Resources, has also filed with the state elections office to run against Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Allbritton says he's got two decades experience as a "national management consultant specializing in bringing about change..."

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