Monday, February 25, 2019

Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

Legislation is in the works in Utah to set the date of the newly (re)funded presidential primary in Utah for Super Tuesday 2020.

Senator Curtis Bramble (R-16th, Utah/Wasatch), the floor sponsor of the House legislation two years ago that appropriated money for a 2020 presidential primary, is back to complete the task that was in 2017 left for the 2019 legislature to consider: where on the calendar to schedule the event. While Bramble is seeking to align the newly constituted presidential primary with other delegate selection events in at least 10 states, reports that elections officials in the Beehive state are advocating for a later March or even April date. There is more open space on the 2020 calendar in April and the primary would not conflict with the state legislative session.

Utah is no stranger to Super Tuesday. The state held a Friday-after-Super-Tuesday primary in 2000 alongside neighbors Colorado and Wyoming and moved the rest of the way up to Super Tuesday in 2004. The primary remained there as part of the de facto national primary that formed and took place on February 5, 2008. Technically that February date carried over to the 2012 cycle, but the legislature added an option to consolidate the presidential primary with the late June primary for other offices.

Both the February and June options are now included in the state's statute creating a Western States Presidential Primary, but are only in effect if the legislature appropriates money to conduct the election. And it should be noted that both dates are currently non-compliant with national party rules. The February date is too early (and would fall the day after the caucuses in Iowa in 2020) and the June date is too late. That along with the lack of state legislative appropriation for a primary factored into the decisions by the state parties in 2015 to abandon primaries in favor of caucuses for the 2016 cycle.

2020 will be different for Utah. The primary option was funded in 2017, but no date was set then. Bramble's forthcoming legislation will begin those deliberations. But a Super Tuesday date would align the Utah primary with potentially the newly reestablished Colorado primary.

A tip of the cap to Bryan Schott at for sharing the news of Utah bill with FHQ.

3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

Follow FHQ on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

No comments: