Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Texas Presidential Primary Bill Challenging Carve-Out States Does Not Have State Party Support

Legislation introduced earlier this week to move the Texas presidential primary to January is not gaining plaudits from state party officials on either side of the partisan aisle. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-122, San Antonio) filed HB 1214 on Monday, February 9 with the intent of shifting the Texas presidential primary from the first Tuesday in March to the last Tuesday in January.

This is the same position the Florida presidential primary was set on in both 2008 and 2012. The difference is that while Florida moved into the fifth position on the calendar and lost half of its delegates during the last two presidential election cycles, Texas would move from the shared fifth position it enjoys now on March 1 -- assuming all other states comply with national party rules -- to the fifth position alone on the calendar at the end of January and have its delegation reduced to just 12 delegates (nine delegates plus the three RNC members from Texas).

On the Democratic side, the national party would penalize Texas half its delegates to start, but the rules grant the Rules and Bylaws Committee the discretion to increase that penalty if necessary.

Officials, regardless of party affiliation, within the state parties were not open to the possible change according to David Saleh Rauf of the San Antonio Express-News.

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri (via Rauf):
But Texas GOP Chairman Steven Munisteri said he expects states to play by the rules this time because the consequences are much stiffer. If the Legislature passed Larson's bill, Munisteri said Texas' share of delegates would decline from 155 to nine, making the state "completely irrelevant." 
He also said Larson's bill would incur penalties from the national party that would prevent the state party from acquiring delegate guest passes, which are used to sell corporate sponsorship. Munisteri estimates the state party made about $250,000 on corporate sponsorships during the last national convention. 
"There's zero chance this is going to pass," said Munisteri, who noted that he's already sending letters to lawmakers to oppose the bill. "As soon as we explain this to anybody they say 'we don't want that.'"
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa had this to say to Rauf:
Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, said it would be a mistake for the Legislature to pass Larson's proposal "just so Texas can try to have a little more political weight in the national primary." 
"This is very irresponsible on the part of this legislator," Hinojosa said. "I doubt he's going to find very much support."
Despite that opposition, Rep. Larson is ready to move forward with the bill.

Recent Posts:
Mississippi Presidential Primary Bills Pass

Vermont Bill Would Move Presidential Primary to Same Date as New Hampshire's

Texas Bill Introduced to Move Presidential Primary to January

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