Monday, March 7, 2011

Bill to Tie Presidential Primary to Parties' Use Passes Washington State House

The Washington state bill to link the existence and use of a presidential primary in a given cycle to the parties utilizing the contest to allocate all of their delegates to the national conventions passed the state House on Saturday (March 5). HB 1860 would require the Democratic and Republican state parties to break from the tradition of using just a caucus or the caucus in combination with a primary, respectively, as the means of allocating delegates in the presidential nomination races. This bill would eliminate the presidential primary in years in which the parties do not abandon the caucus for the primary.

Bills to temporarily eliminate the primary for the 2012 cycle have been proposed in both chambers of the Washington legislature, but have recently stalled while HB 1860 has gained momentum and passed the House. By a largely party-line vote, the House passed the bill 53-44 with most of the Democratic majority in support of the measure and most of the Republican minority against. The legislation now heads to the state Senate.

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