ORLANDO, Fla., May 14 (UPI) -- Space Florida officials say they don't believe the Air Force is following due process in seeking a location for the U.S. military's Space Command after the state left off a short list for the project.
The Air Force said Tuesday that bases in Colorado, California and Alabama are on that list. There was no mention of Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base or Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Space Florida, an advocate group, had held a summit Thursday at Orlando International Airport to coordinate and drum up support for moving the Space Command to Florida. Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, said Tuesday he was disappointed but not surprised.
"It appears as though they did not follow all the elements of their strategic basing process, which includes publishing their requirements," DiBello said. "Unless there's a full and open process, it's hard to know what the criteria are. We're certainly going to continue to push for this."
Earlier in the year, a memo had leaked to CNN and the New York Times that showed Florida was not on the short list. The same list, also without Florida, was released Tuesday by the Air Force.
Among other public officials who had still expressed confidence Florida could get the Space Command last week were Lt. Gov. Jennifer Nunez, who had claimed the media had the story wrong.
"Despite what you heard in the media, we know the game is wide open, and Florida's in it. And were in it to win," Nunez said in a video address.
U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., had echoed that sentiment, saying in another taped address to the summit, "Florida still has time to compete, but I believe we are the underdogs right now."