Report: Gingrich to challenge Florida primary

RNC: No winner-take-all primaries until April 1

Published On: Feb 02 2012 08:46:24 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 02 2012 05:46:43 PM EST
Newt Gingrich
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Florida primary may not be over just yet.  Newt Gingrich's campaign gearing up to challenge the primary based on the Republican National Committee's rules.

The RNC's rules state that no winner-take-all primary may be held before April 1 and Florida happens to be a winner-take-all state.

Romney had a double digit victory in Florida getting 46 percent of the vote to Gingrich's 32 percent while Santorum got 13 percent and Ron Paul finished with 7 percent.

Under Florida party rules, Romney would gain all 50 of the state's delegates, but the Gingrich campaign demands to split up the delegates based on percentage.

Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, isn't budging.

"Florida was winner take all before Election Day. We were winner take all on Election Day. We will remain winner take all," Curry said in a statement released Thursday.

"All the candidates went into the primary understanding what the rules were; understanding that it was a winner-take-all situation," said John Rood, a Jacksonville businessman who is co-chairman of Romney's campaign. "It's kind of ironic to me that if you lose, you come back and challenge the rules."

Other political observers say the challenge is more about Gingrich sending a clear message to supporter in other battleground states that he's still fighting for the nomination.

"It's a signal to his supporters and his donors saying, 'Hey, look, I'm not messing around.  I want every delegate possible. I know this is going to be a long fight and I'm not giving up,'" said Dr. MIchael Binder, political science professor at the University of North Florida.

If a formal  challenge is mounted, it would occur at the Republican National Convention, which will be held in Tampa in August.