S.C. Republican Party chairwoman Karen Floyd said Thursday the Republican National Committee should consider moving its 2012 presidential convention from Tampa unless Florida abides by party's primary schedule.
Florida lawmakers have set their primary date for Jan. 31, 2012.
But Only the Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada can vote before the end of March, according to rules approved by both the Republican and Democratic national committees.
The party should not reward a state with its political convention if it ignores the party's rules, Floyd said.
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"There are many states that are more deserving of a convention," Floyd said in a conference call with reporters, arguing North Carolina and other "purple" battleground states should be considered.
Florida itself is a battleground -- or purple -- state, and Floyd said she would prefer the convention not be moved from Tampa. Floyd did not know if the site could be moved to another city that applied to host.
"I believe somebody needs to begin this dialog," she said. "I'm simply drawing this out as an option."
Floyd, who is not seeking re-election this spring as chairman of the S.C. GOP, sent a letter to members of the Republican National Committee today and has garnered support from other traditional early-voting states.
"The contempt that Florida legislators hold not only for the RNC 2012 rules, but also for the RNC members who approved these rules, is astonishing," Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn said in a statement. "To reward this arrogance with our national convention is a great disservice to the Republican activists, donors and elected officials nationwide who support the RNC."
Early primaries are a boon for hosting states, focusing national attention and the money needed to win over voters.
South Carolina holds a key role in GOP primary process. The winner of the S.C. GOP primary eventually has won the Republican nomination for president each time the Palmetto State primary has been held since 1980.