The full Senate has given approval to House Bill 1614, a measure to move Oklahoma’s presidential primary from February to March. Republicans David Holt and Gary Banz are the Senate and House authors, respectively. Holt said new national rules adopted by Republicans and Democrats are forcing states like Oklahoma to move their primaries to March if they want to participate in the national conventions.
“A decade ago, Oklahoma did the right thing moving its primary to February,” said Sen. Holt, R-Oklahoma City. “However, both parties have passed new rules cutting Oklahoma’s delegates if we hold our 2012 primary earlier than March 5th. That is the date we are sending to the Governor, and I believe it is the date that ensures that Oklahoma’s primary is as relevant as possible.”
Under the new national rules, only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada can have February, 2012 presidential primaries. Oklahoma’s primary will be the first Tuesday in March, the earliest date allowed under the new rules.
“By making this simple change, Oklahoma will be in compliance with the rules of both political parties, ensuring maximum participation in the Republican and Democratic national conventions,” said Rep. Banz, R-Midwest City. “Passage of HB 1614 guarantees Oklahomans will continue to have a vital role in the national political scene.”
HB 1614 now heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration.