Colorado panel approves plan to support regional presidential primary |

Colorado panel approves plan to support regional presidential primary

Steven K. Paulson
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” A legislative committee on Thursday decided to support a plan for multistate presidential primaries after getting assurances Colorado could still hold caucuses.

The House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted to support the proposal (House Resolution 1006) with an amendment stipulating that Colorado could hold caucuses on primary day instead of an election.

Members noted that Colorado voters chose in 2002 to keep the caucus system.

A commission led by former President Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker has endorsed holding four regional primaries after the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

The primaries would be held at one-month intervals from March to June with the regions rotating on the calendar every four years.

Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, said the plan would give Colorado more clout in presidential elections, making the state third in the western region in the number of delegates for both Republicans and Democrats, behind California and Arizona.

“We’d be the third-most-important state in the western region,” Balmer told the committee.

If approved by the full House, the resolution would be sent to the sponsors, the National Association of Secretaries of State. If all 50 states agree, the association will ask both parties to set new rules for their election calendars. If a state refuses to go along with the majority, they could lose their delegates to the national convention under party rules.

Rep. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, said voters have already indicated they like their caucuses. He said lawmakers should ask voters before changing the caucus date after they moved it this year from March to Feb. 5 to gain more influence in the presidential election.

“It’s an important national discussion to have, but we haven’t had a national discussion,” Lambert said.


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