Missouri moves 2012 presidential primary to March
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 10, 2011 - The Missouri General Assembly has given final approval to a bill that delays the state's 2012 presidential primary until March -- a move aimed at avoiding penalties by both national parties.
Missouri held its 2008 presidential primary in February. But in 2012, both national parties are allowing only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to hold primaries or caucuses in February. All other states must hold their events in March or later.
Not all legislators are happy about the idea that the state is being forced to change.
As the Missouri House prepared to take its final vote Monday night, state Rep. Chris Kelly called for lawmakers to take a stand against "these two national monsters (who) have taken control of local politics."
Kelly, D-Columbia, complained that the national parties are wielding too much power, controlling money and mandating certain decisions that he said should be left up to local political activists.
"Why don't we stand up to these beasts!" Kelly shouted.
However, other legislators said their failure to change the date of the state's primary was too risky, and could mean that Missouri's presidential delegates might not be seated at the national conventions.
Kelly was outvoted, 107-43. The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who is expected to go along with the primary change.