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Missouri House passes presidential primary date change

Friday, March 14, 2014 | 7:59 a.m. CDT; updated 9:12 a.m. CDT, Friday, March 14, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's Republican-led House has passed legislation setting the state's 2016 presidential primary for March 15.

Missouri previously held its party primary in February, but faced losing some delegates to the 2016 Republican convention because of new party rules.

The Republicans only want four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to hold contests in February. States that hold primaries before the March 15 date must also award delegates proportionally, not on a winner-take-all basis.

Sponsoring Rep. Tony Dugger, a Hartville Republican, says the bill ensures Missouri will be relevant in selecting the 2016 presidential nominee. Opponents say holding the primary in April when municipal elections take place would save money.

The House sent the bill to the Senate Thursday on a 97-48 vote.


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