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US Democrats Concerned About Banned Florida, Michigan Delegations


Political leaders in Florida and Michigan have called on the Democratic Party to allow delegations from their U.S. states to help choose a nominee for president.

The party stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates to the national convention because the states held primary elections too early, in defiance of party rules. New York Senator Hillary Clinton won both contests.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican, issued a joint statement Wednesday urging that the delegations be seated at the convention. They accused the party of silencing the voices of more than five million people.

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean Thursday urged Florida and Michigan party officials to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their votes can be counted. He said if they do that, their delegates will be allowed to help choose the nominee.

Clinton and Obama are setting their sights on the next round of contests, including the next large battleground, Pennsylvania, which holds its primary April 22.

Clinton revived her campaign with victories Tuesday in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. But Obama leads the former first lady in the Texas caucus that was held after the state primary. He has about 100 more delegates than Clinton.

For the Republicans, Senator John McCain is focused on the November general election after securing his party's nomination with a sweep of four states Tuesday. President Bush endorsed the veteran Arizona lawmaker Wednesday at the White House.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.