Friday, April 10, 2015

Different February Presidential Primary Bill Passes Nevada Assembly Committee

FHQ discussed yesterday the Nevada bill to create a February presidential primary that made it through a state Senate committee earlier in the week. In the lower chamber yesterday, the Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections held a work session for the Assembly version of that bill. The outcome for AB 302 was much the same as its partner in the state Senate. It passed mainly with Republican committee members in support and Democrats against.

However, the two bills -- the Assembly and Senate versions -- now differ. The bill that will be considered on the state Senate floor is the original bill but with a third Tuesday in February primary date replacing the January date initially called for. The Assembly version in the words of committee counsel, Kevin Powers, gutted the original bill, creating an unspecified February presidential preference primary that the state parties can opt into but are not required to participate in. In other words, both parties would have to request that a presidential primary be held and set a date for sometime in February.

To reiterate a point from the post yesterday about the state Senate bill passing committee, this, too is somewhat surprising. That is because all of this legislative maneuvering in both chambers is moot for 2016. Both the Nevada Republican Party and the Nevada Democratic Party have opted to select and allocate delegates to the national convention -- and hold a presidential preference vote -- through a caucuses/convention system in 2016. The Assembly bill would create a presidential primary option for future cycles and that makes it a worthier pursuit than the Senate legislation. That bill would create a February presidential primary that would also include the usual June primaries for other offices in the Silver state. It would also attempt to codify a requirement for parties to allocate and bind delegates through a presidential primary system. The Senate version has the steeper climb of the two.

...but neither bill is likely to have any effect on the caucuses both Nevada parties are planning to hold next year.

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