TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida voters, especially registered Republicans, will have to contend with a very crowded presidential primary ballot.
Florida’s two main political parties have officially submitted the names of the candidates on the state’s March 15 primary.
The Republican Party of Florida on Monday submitted the names of 14 GOP candidates: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.
The party earlier this year came up with various ways for candidates to qualify for the ballot, including appearing at the Sunshine Summit held in mid-November in Orlando. All 14 candidates who attended the event are on the list turned in by state officials.
Candidates have until Dec. 14 to request that the Secretary of State’s office remove their names from the ballot. Jindal suspended his campaign in November.
Democratic primary voters will have three Democrats to choose from during the primary: Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders. The Florida Democratic Party executive committee set the ballot on Nov. 1 at its annual convention.
There could be a lot riding on the Republican primary.
Republican party officials in May voted to make the GOP primary a winner-take-all contest. The move at the time was seen as a potential boost for either former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. But Bush and Rubio have trailed Carson and Trump in recent polls taken in Florida.