Texas bill seeks new, earlier primary date

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February 11, 2013

By Maresa Strano


AUSTIN, Texas: Aiming to boost Texas' influence in Presidential primary nominations, state Senator Dan Patrick (R) filed a bill last week to change the state's primary election date to the first week in February of even-numbered election years. Patrick makes the case that “For far too long the race for President has been all but decided by the time Texans get a chance to cast their ballot,” and holding the primary earlier in the election year is the solution.[1] As such, Patrick expects support for Senate 452 will transcend party lines and result in its smooth passage.

The new primary schedule outlined under SB 452 includes a correspondingly earlier filing deadline for candidates running in the potential February election. If the bill is passed during the current session of the Texas Legislature, which began on Jan. 8 and runs through May 27, the adjustments would be applied immediately, shortening the timetable for individuals who had already been planning to run in the 2014 elections. Prospective candidates, Patrick among them, would have to file by the second week in November of this year.

Patrick is exploring a run for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 2014. He would face incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, in the Republican primary.[2]

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