Saturday, May 31, 2014

Amended Bill Would Bump 2016 Louisiana Presidential Primary Up Two Weeks

The Louisiana Senate added an amendment yesterday to a state House bill on campaign finance that would move the presidential primary in the Pelican state. The floor amendment was inserted into HB 431, among other changes, all of which were subsequently unanimously passed by the state Senate (38-0). The regular session of the Louisiana legislature is due to adjourn on Monday, June 2. This change, then, was a late addition. The bill now heads back to the state House where concurrence with the state Senate changes will be considered when the chamber convenes on Sunday afternoon.

The change to the presidential primary date for 2016 and beyond is rather minor. It would shift the Louisiana presidential primary up to the first Saturday of March; the Saturday following what is likely to be Super Tuesday on Tuesday, March 1. That would move the Pelican state primary up two weeks from its position on the the third Saturday after the first Tuesday in March. More simply, this would move the primary from March 19 to March 5.

There are more potential calendar changes to come in 2015, but if Louisiana were to move to March 5, that would place the primary in an eight day period with a decidedly southern flavor. Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia are already scheduled for March 1 -- the earliest date allowed by the national parties for non-carve-out states to conduct contests -- and Alabama and Mississippi are due to hold primaries a week later on March 8. Louisiana would fall right in the middle of that period on the calendar.

But first, the state House will have its say in the matter tomorrow.

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