The Phoenix Flyer

Iowa Republicans passing on DeSantis suggestion to hold satellite caucus in FL

By: - November 13, 2023 1:59 pm

Screenshot of Ron DeSantis campaigning in Muscatine, Iowa, on Nov. 11, 2023. (Source: Screenshot/Never Back Down video)

Noting how many Iowa residents spend their time in Southwest Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has suggested he’d like the Iowa Republican Party to allow Florida Republicans to vote in Iowa’s all-important, first-in-the-nation caucus from the Sunshine State when it takes place in January.

“I may petition the Iowa Republican Party to have some caucus sites in Southwest Florida, so people could just go — I mean, do one in Naples. One in Marco Island. You know, whatever you need to do,” he said on Saturday to applause at a campaign event in Muscatine, Iowa.

It’s not a novel concept.

In January 2020, the Iowa Democratic Party included Iowa registered voters living in other parts of the country and even around the world in their first-ever “satellite” caucuses. Twenty-five of those locations were spread out across the country, with four locations in Florida — Port Charlotte, Pensacola Beach, Miramar Beach, and St. Petersburg.

But alas, that won’t happen on the GOP side in January.

“No, we are not planning such ‘satellite caucuses,’” said Kush Desai, communications director for the Republican Party of Iowa.

With Joe Biden running as the incumbent president next year, Iowa Democrats are not holding any satellite caucuses in 2024 — in fact, they will not even caucus in person. Instead, they will meet on Jan. 15 to conduct party business, according to the Iowa Democratic Party website.

After adopting major changes to their process, Iowa Democrats have announced that they will cast their presidential preferences entirely by mail next year. The results will not be announced until March 5, according to the Des Moines Register.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.