Minn. House committee considers earlier primary 28 Feb 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota House committee is hearing a bill that would shift Minnesota’s primary election from August to June.

The hearing is Thursday in the House Elections Committee. The bill is sponsored by that committee’s chairman, DFL Rep. Steve Simon, and has bipartisan support including from House Republican Leader Kurt Daudt.

Supporters of shifting the primary two months earlier say it would give winning primary candidates more time to prepare for the general election, instead of staying focused on an internal party contest until just a few months before the election. They also say turnout has been light in recent August primary because many people vacation that month and are not tuned in to politics.

The bill has also been introduced in the Senate but has not had a hearing. Gov. Mark Dayton supports a June primary too.