June primary efforts fizzle

Efforts to create an earlier primary in the state Legislature have fizzled tonight after a joint House/Senate conference committee stripped the measure from a broader elections bill.

The bill would have changed the state’s political primary from August until June. The six member conference committee stripped the language from the bill after the Senate firmly rejected the plan earlier this week.

It means efforts to schedule an earlier primary are all but done for the year. Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, says he’ll continue to push for an earlier primary.

“I will be an advocate for this issue,” Daudt said. “If we don’t get it through yet this session and at this point it may not be likely, we’ll certainly take it up next session.”

Supporters of the June primary say it would have increased voter turnout but critics complain that it would lengthen the campaign season. And since the legislative session runs until late May, critics add some state legislators would have less time to campaign. The primary language was a part of a larger elections bill.

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