Presidential primary looms as next big issue

Unless lawmakers pass a bill this week — and Gov. Jay Nixon signs it into law — filing begins a week from Tuesday for candidates who want to run in Missouri’s Presidential Preference Primary.

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By law, the filing period this year is Oct. 25-Nov. 22, for a statewide primary to be held Feb. 7, 2012.

But state Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, told reporters last week the Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill eliminating that statewide election.

“We’re taking that up because it saves money,” Mayer told reporters. “It saves anywhere between $6 and $8 million, and it’s a meaningless process, anyway, because Republican Party leaders have voted to use caucuses instead of a primary.”

But Secretary of State Robin Carnahan hopes lawmakers don’t end the preference primary Missouri’s had for the last three presidential election cycles.

“I think selecting who the nominees for president will be is a serious business, and that a lot of Americans have opinions and want input on that,” Carnahan said. “After all, people are able to vote in primaries for their nominees for governor and for senator (and) state representative.

“Why is it that the most important job in the land, people can’t have input about who their party nominee will be?”

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