Sunday, March 8, 2015

New Mexico March Presidential Primary Bill Derailed on Second Failed Committee Vote

Via Milan Simonich at the Santa Fe New Mexican:
"A Republican initiative to move up New Mexico’s primary election from June to March failed again Saturday on another tie vote. The sponsor, House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, said the bill is dead for this session and for the 2016 presidential election. Gentry’s bill stalled for the second time in the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee. All six Democrats on the panel opposed the measure, and the six Republicans supported it." [Emphasis FHQ's]
A vote on HB 346, for the second time, ended in a stalemate in committee. After the bill to move the consolidated New Mexico primaries from June to the third Tuesday in March initially failed two weeks ago, there was some discussion about the legislation being tweaked. Whether those changes happened is not clear, but the outcome before the state House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee was the exact same: Republicans for the move to March, Democrats unified against it.

FHQ often talks about how difficult it can be for late states on the presidential primary calendar with consolidated primaries to move. The decision-making calculus is different. This New Mexico example illustrates one half of the dilemma. Arkansas fits the other part. For late states with consolidated primaries the question is always "Do we 1) move everything up to an earlier date, 2) create and fund a separate, earlier presidential primary election, or 3) leave well enough alone.

Often indecision between the first two options leads to a default selection of the third option.

Arkansas is looking to create a separate presidential primary election for the third time with little assurance that Natural state voters and taxpayers will get any increased bang for their buck this time around in 2016. The obstacle in New Mexico was partly partisan but also partly logistical. The decision to go with the "move everything" option meant that state legislators reelection/renominations would be affected but also that the move would push municipal elections to a later date. There are costs involved with each of the options to move, but one is financial while the other tends not to be. Both can gum up the works though. And that is a portion of what happened in New Mexico.

Are you following FHQ on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook? Click on the links to join in.

No comments: