Florida's top Republican Party official became the latest member of the party's establishment to call for an end to its bruising primary, telling BuzzFeed today that the process has gone on too long and calling on the national party to coalesce behind Mitt Romney.
"Some of the conventional wisdom has been that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been doing this through June and that made him a better candidate, but there was no incumbent running that time," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry said in an interview.
A perennial swing state, Florida is a must-win in virtually every plausible Republican path to victory, and Curry made the case that further extending the primary hurts the party's chances in November.
"We cannot compare 2008 to what’s happening now. It’s important to coalesce behind a nominee as soon as possible," he added. "I think [Romney] has made the case — the other candidates had their shot. It’s time focus on November."
Curry said he is not formally endorsing any candidate until the race is over, "to make sure we can pull all of the campaigns together to defeat Barack Obama."
The state party has focused its efforts on voter registration and coalition-building over the past few months, noting that Republicans have narrowed the registration gap between Democrats and Republicans by 200,000 voters in two years.
"If Gov. Romney wraps this up and he makes the case for free enterprise vs. the perpetual welfare state as he has been, we'll be in great shape for the fall," he said.