Fla. Dems Call On Delegates To Be Seated

Florida's Democratic congressional delegation called on the national party Thursday to seat the state's delegation based on its January primary, and the state party is growing more hopeful that the campaigns will agree on a plan by the end of the month.

The Democratic National Committee stripped Florida's delegates because the state held its Jan. 29 primary earlier than party rules allowed. Hillary Rodham Clinton won 50 percent to Barack Obama's 33 percent.

"These are clear indications that - just like in other places throughout the country - Florida voters are tired of Republicans and are demanding a new direction in our country," Florida's nine Democratic members of Congress said in a letter to national party chief Howard Dean. "All of this will be lost, however, if we do not find a solution to this ongoing controversy that fully seats all of Florida's 211 delegates."

State party spokesman Mark Bubriski told The Associated Press that Florida officials have been talking with campaign representatives for Obama and Clinton about recognizing all, or part, of the state's delegates.

"I think they are more and more willing to really consider seating Florida's delegates, if at half or full strength," Bubriski said.

The Florida news comes after Michigan Democrats came up with their own plan to restore their delegates, which were also stripped for having an early primary. Michigan officials have a proposal for the DNC to set 69 delegates for Clinton and 59 for Obama.

Clinton, who is trailing Obama in the race for the nomination by about 150 delegates before the final six primaries, is seeking to close the gap with delegates from Florida and Michigan.

Clinton sent Obama a letter Thursday asking him to work with her to have the primary votes count for both states.