Primary bill dies in committee
April 17, 2013
A bill that would have moved the Nevada primary to January was one of the casualties of a deadline for bills to get out of committee last week.
Senate Bill 212 would have combined the presidential caucus and the primary so that Nevadans would be able to vote in both.
Had the bill become law, filing for office would have to take place in October of the previous year.
Replacing the caucus with a primary was a popular item among Republicans early last year, prompting a petition.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. James Settelmeyer, Sen. Barbara Cegavske and assemblymen Crescent Hardy, James Wheeler and Pete Livermore.
Under current Nevada law, parties select their presidential preferences at neighborhood meetings held early in the year. In 2008, Nevada Democrats held a first in the West caucus so they could have an early say in who the presidential nominee would be. Republicans held precinct meetings the same day, but the straw poll was not binding. In 2012, it was Republicans turn to caucus for a presidential challenger. At the same time they passed around a petition calling for the end of the caucus.
Nevada holds its primary in June, which is too late in the presidential selection process to have much impact. The last presidential primary election was held in Nevada in May 1980.
Among other bills sponsored by Douglas County lawmakers that died in committee last week were Senate Joint Resolution 3 sponsored by Settelmeyer that would claim sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. A bill sponsored by Wheeler that would require the Nevada Attorney General to defend Nevadans’ Second Amendment rights threatened by an executive order also missed the deadline.