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Acting New Jersey Governor Kim Guadagno (R-Lt. Governor) today signed A 3777 into law. The bill, unanimously approved by both the state Senate and state Assembly, eliminates the separate February presidential primary election and consolidates it with the June primaries for state and local offices. The state stands to gain $10-12 million in costs associated with the presidential primary.
A few thoughts:
1) Just days after Colorado Republicans shifted up their precinct caucuses to February 7, New Jersey abandoned the date. The Garden state presidential primary now returns to June where it has been scheduled, concurrent with state and local primaries, in every post-reform presidential election cycle with the exception of 2008.
2) Conspiracy theorists may have something to say about who ultimately signed this bill and what that means for the Republican presidential primary race. Following a weekend in which the Chris Christie for President whispers became slightly more audible, it is interesting that the lieutenant governor signed the bill. It is almost as if someone wanted to avoid being cited for some conflict of interest down the road in a presidential nomination fight.
3) The reality is that this cements one in place a primary date that has been in limbo all year, but particularly since the end of June when A 3777 passed the state Senate. The legislation has been awaiting gubernatorial -- or at least executive branch -- action since that time.
Hat tip to the AP for the news.