A number of Democrats don’t like the idea of moving all primary elections in 2016 from May to March 1 so Mike Huckabee can have Arkansas on the slate of Southern states in the so-called SEC primary, but there’s some difference of opinion among Republicans, too.
Sen. Gary Stubblefield introduced the administration bill to move the primary. Rep. Nate Bell has a competing proposal. It would keep the primary in May in 2016, but change it to March in future years. He’d also tinker with primary dates a bit to allow more time to select national nominating convention delegates.
Neither bill mentions a change in judicial elections, now held in May on the same day as the preferential primary, with runoffs if necessary in November. If it would automatically switch, too (UPDATE: it would), races with runoffs would face even longer runoff campaigns, between March and November.
UPDATE: The bill to move the primary cleared a House committee, but failed in an eight-member Senate committee because of opposition from four Democrats who noted the complications for other elections and the uncertainty that all Southern states will fall in line on the SEC primary. Stubblefield said he might make the rare move of a Senate vote to pull the bill from committee.