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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Washington presidential primary a “go” for May 24

OLYMPIA -- Washington will hold its presidential primary on May 24, despite concerns that date is late in the process and the fact Democrats will ignore the results.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Monday she is telling state elections officials to go ahead with preparations for the May primary after being turned down last week in efforts to move the date up to early March, when the nomination of the two parties' presidential candidates is more likely to be in doubt.

"The important point is that the voters of Washington will gt an opportunity to express themselves, to vote on how they feel about who should be their party's nominee for president of the United States," she said in a press release.

Last week Wyman asked the committee with the authority to shift the date to move the primary to March 8. The move required a two-thirds majority, and Democrats on the committee refused, saying they will start their selection process with the precinct caucuses and ignore primary results. Republicans were willing to change the date to March 8 or March 22.

State Republicans have selected about half of their delegates based on primary results in the past, but they, too, are expected to hold caucuses sometime in March, and by May 24 they will be well into that process. The state GOP's executive committee meets Sept. 12 to develop its schedule and rules for the 2016 presidential delegate selection, including whether to award some delegates based on primary results.

The state Republican Party supports the primary but "we prefer an early primary while there are more contenders in the race for both Republicans and Democrats," Steve Beren, the party's director of new media and technology, said in a press release.

For a brief history of the state's presidential primary, click here.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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