Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Washington State House Bill Would Cancel 2016 Presidential Primary

Late last week on Friday, February 27, Washington state Representative Sam Hunt (D-22nd, Olympia) introduced HB 2185. The bill, offered based on a request from the Washington Office of Financial Management, calls for the cancelation of the 2016 presidential primary in the Evergreen state.

In light of the fact that Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R) requested bills (in both the House and Senate) to move the presidential primary up from May to March, this is an interesting development. That is made all the more curious because one of the co-sponsors of the March primary bill in the House is Rep. Hunt, the main sponsor of this new legislation to cancel that primary election.

The Washington legislature passed legislation in 2011 to cancel the 2012 presidential primary. That bill was later signed into law and was estimated to have saved the state $10 million. Given the request from the Office of Financial Management, it would appear that similar potential savings are behind this move also. That Washington Democrats have never really used the primary to allocate delegates in the past and Republicans have had an on-again-off-again relationship with the primary would factor into any decision to cancel the primary as well. Democrats control the state House, but Republicans control the state Senate. This may move in the state House, then, but potentially find resistance on the Senate side.


UPDATE (3/3/15): Senate bill passes

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