Presidential candidates are being summoned to a November "Sunshine Summit" put on by the Republican Party of Florida.
The event, which will not feature a straw poll, had been scheduled for October. But organizers had a mess on their hands because the Legislature is going into special session Oct. 19-Nov. 6 to redraw state Senate districts. RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia is also a state representative and lawmakers are prohibited from fundraising during session.
Now, the summit will be held Nov. 13-14 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. Former Vice President Dick Cheney will headline a dinner on Nov. 12, the party announced.
"The Sunshine Summit is a unique opportunity and event where presidential candidates will share their vision for the nation with the more than 2,500 expected activists and grassroots leaders in one-of-most influential primary and general election swing states," Ingoglia said.
Organizers had already said they would scrap a straw poll (Herman Cain, anyone?). "We thought long and hard about it," said party spokesman Wadi Gaitan. "We have seen a movement away from the straw poll (Iowa is a recent example) and decided not to include one in this event. Candidates can focus on meeting and speaking with the grassroots without having to concentrate on a straw poll."
--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times