UPDATE: Turns out Rep. Ron Paul is dumping us -- though it looks like he has mailers going out to voters, Politico reports his campaign is skipping the Florida primary to concentrate on caucuses in February, a decision likely informed by Paul polling horribly in this state. No word on whether he'll be at the Florida debate.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the only candidate with announced stops in Florida so far -- he'll be in Miami for a fundraiser on Friday the 13th (true) and will also make a stop at a Florida GOP event at Walt Disney World (true), where authorities have been warned he may try to marry the evil queen from Snow White (probably true).
Mitt Romney, who won the Iowa caucus by an astounding and totally meaningful eight votes, just spent $825,000 on Florida TV time but specifically excluded Miami markets. Here's the mashup of Romney home videos you're missing out on:
If Romney fares well in the other January primaries, a win in Florida could put the former Massachusetts over the top for the Republican slot in November: The San Francisco Chronicle describes his campaign "quietly shifting gears in an effort to steamroll his underfunded opponents and lock up the Republican nomination by the Florida primary at the end of this month."
The Sentinel reports Gingrich, Romney and Rep. Ron Paul have all also purchased voter mailing lists, and
all of the candidates are expected to enter heavy campaigning in the state once the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries are over Jan. 21. They'll all certainly be We'll see who's in Tallahassee Jacksonville Jan. 26 for the CNN debate.
Republicans who aren't running for president will be swinging into town, too: The Hispanic Leadership Network, in addition to co-hosting the debate, is having its "Inspiring Action" Conference in Miami Jan. 26 and 27. Making appearances will be former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutiérrez, who came to America when his family fled the Castro regime, and Sen. Marco Rubio, who lied about coming to America when his family (never actually) fled the Castro regime.
And no Florida Republican shin-dig would be complete without Jeb Bush, whose position as co-chair of the event pretty much guarantees it's going to be a rip-roaring good time.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.