Saturday, April 4, 2015

Arizona Presidential Primary Challenge to Iowa Dies as 2015 Session Closes

The Arizona state legislature finished up the business of the 2015 legislative session in the early morning hours of Friday, April 3. Adjourning the session sine die killed all the remaining bills that had not moved through the legislature and on to the governor. Among the group of bills that did not survive was HB 2015, the bill that would have pushed the Arizona presidential primary in front of the Iowa caucuses (or any other contest that ended up first on the primary calendar).

The bill dying at the end of the session does not come as all that much of a surprise. Similar legislation met the same fate two years ago following some RNC pressure. Additionally, the legislature repositioned the Arizona presidential primary during the 2014 session. That move did not preclude the 2015 legislature from considering and passing another move, but states shifting primary calendar positions more than once in a presidential election cycle remains a rare occurrence. Furthermore, part of the change in 2014 was about bringing the presidential primary in the Grand Canyon state back into compliance with the national party rules (with regard to the timing of delegate selection events). Passing HB 2015 would have meant crossing back over that barrier, making Arizona delegations from both parties vulnerable to national party penalties.

Arizona does not allow legislation proposed in one session to carry over to the next session. That means this bill is dead and Arizona is more than likely locked into a March 22 primary in 2016.

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