Joe Gruters, Terrie Rizzo argue ‘top two’ primary system won’t ease hyperpartisanship

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo and Florida Republican Party Chair Joe Gruters joined forces Friday to oppose a constitutional amendment that would create an open primary system in Florida.

The rare show of bipartisanship came during the Florida Tiger Bay Club 2020 Election Series, where the pair disputed claims that Amendment 3 would ease partisan tensions.

While both leaders acknowledged the era’s hyperpartisan nature, neither viewed Amendment 3 as a remedy.

“I think going forward we will see an opportunity and have more candidates who reach across the aisle and work together because we have to do this in order to heal our country,” Rizzo said during the forum. “This amendment, however, is not the one to do that.”

If passed in November, Amendment 3 would allow registered voters beginning in 2024 to cast a ballot in primary elections for the Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet regardless of party affiliation.

It would also create a single primary race for each office. Candidates from all parties would appear on the same ballot for an office and only the top two candidates would advance to the General Election.

Rizzo claimed the amendment would likely generate more “dark

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