Florida Republicans will no longer require 2024 Republican presidential candidates to sign a loyalty pledge pledging support for the party’s eventual nominee in order to participate in the Sunshine State’s primary ballot.
The oath requirement was removed Friday in a vote at the state Republican Party’s quarterly meeting in Orlando, Florida.
“Common sense prevailed in the Florida Republican Party tonight,” said Florida state Sen. Joe Gruters, who introduced the motion to rescind the loyalty pledge, according to NBC News.
The vote to rescind the pledge was “overwhelming,” Gruters added.
The text of the pledge was approved by the party in May and filed with Florida election officials in July. This was to be a required step for all Republican candidates seeking to run in the March 19 primary election and followed the Republican National Committee’s announcement earlier this year that participants in the Republican Party’s presidential debate were required to commit to support the party’s standard bearer in order to be allowed on stage.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign spokesman blasted Friday’s vote.
“We believe that anyone who wants to run for president as a Republican should be prepared to pledge their support to our eventual nominee,” Bryan Griffin told NBC News. “It’s surprising that anyone who wants to see Joe Biden defeated in 2024 disagrees. »
“Once Ron DeSantis secures the party’s nomination, we hope that everyone on the ground will join him in this fight,” he added.
The vote is seen as a victory for former President Donald Trump.
The 77-year-old Republican frontrunner has so far refused to sign the RNC pledge, which disqualified him from the first GOP primary debate last month.
Trump, however, says he would have skipped the debate anyway because of his massive lead in the polls.
“I would not sign the pledge. Why should I sign a pledge? There are people there that I wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t have certain people as, you know, someone that I would support,” Trump told Newsmax host Eric Bolling last month. “I can name three or four people I wouldn’t support for president.”
Trump’s lead over DeSantis grew to 46 points earlier this month, according to a Wall Street Journal poll, with 59% of Republican primary voters saying the former president would be their top choice in 2024, followed by 13 % for DeSantis.
Similarly, Trump reached 60% support nationally in a Fox News poll released Thursday, while DeSantis received 13% support.
New York Post