Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Senate Companion Introduced to Reestablish Missouri Presidential Primary

The effort to reestablish the Missouri presidential primary continues. 

No, there has not been any movement on any of the three identical bills in the Show-Me state House to resurrect the presidential primary that was cancelled in 2022. However, now there is a Senate companion to one of those prior bills. 

SB 602 was introduced on Monday by Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R-22nd, Jefferson) and was marked as a companion to HB 267. No co-sponsors were listed, so it remains to be seen just how widespread support is in the Senate to bring back the presidential primary. But the initial presidential primary provision was inserted in a broader elections package the legislature considered and passed during the 2022 session. Some supporters of that omnibus did not want to strike the presidential primary removal section from the bill for fear that it might affect passage of the entire package.

That, in turn, has left legislators in 2023 -- those who would prefer a state-run presidential primary over party-run caucuses -- with some clean up work. But again, how broad that support is for a return of the presidential primary in the Republican-controlled legislature remains in question. After all, a Republican secretary of state advocated for its removal in both 2021 and 2022, and a supermajority Republican legislature passed it as part of that 2022 elections omnibus. 

This legislation has been added to FHQ's updated 2024 presidential primary calendar


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