Democrats block attempt to hold earlier presidential primary

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2015 1:13pm
  • Local News

Those hoping to cast a vote for Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders in next year’s presidential primary may be out of luck.

Democratic Party leaders refused Tuesday to hold the state’s presidential primary in March rather than May. By that time many current candidates may no longer be competing.

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman asked leaders of the two major political parties to approve an earlier date to boost Washington’s clout in the national nominating process but only GOP representatives supported her.

The divide between the two parties stems from the difference in how each allots its presidential delegates.

The Democratic Party will ignore the primary results and allot its delegates solely through caucuses on March 26.

“We want a process that is meaningful for the voters and the primary is not that,” state Democratic Party chairman Jaxon Ravens said at a meeting of the Presidential Primary Committee.

Republicans will allocate half its delegates based on the primary and the other half from caucuses. Party leaders strongly endorsed moving the date to March 8 rather than May 24 as now scheduled.

“That is where we believe it is most advantageous for the voters of Washington state,” said GOP chairwoman Susan Hutchison.

Wyman has said if she could not hold the statewide vote earlier than May she might try to get it canceled and save the $11.5 million that it costs to put on.

The primary, which was established in Washington in 1992, was canceled in 2004 and 2012 for financial reasons.

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