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BURLINGAME, Calif. (AP) — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is in California defending his party's decision to change its presidential selection process by shortening the primary season and cutting the number of debates.

Priebus told delegates at the California Republican convention Friday that moving the national convention to June and holding fewer debates are "not an establishment takeover" or a conspiracy.

The chairman also touted a key victory this week in a hard-fought Florida congressional race that is seen as a possible bellwether of November midterm elections.

Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a special election Tuesday that largely turned on President Barack Obama's health care law.

Priebus says the party went "full bore" in the contest, deploying a $35 million digital database to give Jolly the edge.