Saturday, February 21, 2015

Companion Bill in Washington House Would Move Presidential Primary to March 8

This last week, the Washington state House introduced an identical companion bill to the state Senate bill to move the Evergreen state presidential primary from mid-May to early March. Like the Senate legislation, the House version was also introduced at the request of Washington secretary of state, Kim Wyman (R). Like the Senate version, the House bill also counts important members in the chamber leadership among its list of sponsors and co-sponsors.

Unlike the Senate, the House is controlled by the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, HB 2139 has the support/sponsorship of the chair of the committee (Rep. Sam Hunt (D-22nd, Olympia), State Government Committee) to which the bill has been referred and the deputy minority leader in the House (Rep. Joel Kretz (R-7th, Wauconda)).

The big issue with this bill as with the Senate version is not whether it will pass either or both chambers or be signed into law. Rather, the bigger matter is whether the state parties will utilize the primary election for allocate delegates. Neither state party has always used the primary when available in the past. Both have tended to prefer a caucuses/convention system for both selecting and allocating delegates to the national convention.

UPDATE (2/19/15): Senate bill passes committee
UPDATE (2/27/15): Bill to cancel 2016 primary introduced
UPDATE (3/3/15): Senate bill passes

Recent Posts:
Proposed Move of Presidential Primary to February Faces Resistance in Wisconsin

Twin Bills Would Move Maryland Presidential Primary Back a Week

Snyder's Signature Sends Michigan Presidential Primary to March 8

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