The Florida Democratic Party appears poised to limit the number of candidates in its 2024 presidential primary contest to just President Joe Biden, effectively handing him a victory in the state contest and narrowing his primary challengers’ chances to win their party’s presidential nomination.
President Biden currently faces primary challenges from Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and self-help author Marianne Williamson. Until recently, environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had also challenged President Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination but decided to launch a new presidential campaign as an independent candidate.
A Florida Democratic Party spokesperson told CNN that the party decided on its candidate list—to include only President Biden—during their state party convention in October. They submitted their candidate list on Nov. 1. Ms. Williamson had been actively campaigning for months prior to that decision. Mr. Phillips had launched his primary campaign on Oct. 26, shortly before the Florida Democratic Party convention.
The state party’s handling of the primary process prompted backlash from the Williamson and Phillips campaigns on Thursday, as they realized they had been cut off from a chance to win any of the 250 party delegates in the state.
“The FDP did all this at the last minute, changing rules to fit their will, making it extremely difficult for other campaigns to even know what to do. It goes without saying that if you can’t get on the ballot in a state as big as Florida, your chances to proceed are deeply impacted,” Ms. Williamson added.
NTD News made multiple attempts to contact the Florida Democratic Party and state party chair Nikki Fried for comment, but received no response by press time.
Steve Schale, a Florida-based Democratic political strategist, pushed back on the complaints about the primary ballot access process this cycle.
“This is so dumb. You don’t have a right to be on a party primary ballot just because you want to be,” Mr. Schale wrote in an X post on Thursday evening. “We didn’t have a primary in 2012. Pretty sure we didn’t in 1996. Take your 3% and your grievance elsewhere.”