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Lawmakers want to move presidential primary from February to June

July 14, 2011 |  1:23 pm

California's presidential primary election would be moved from February to June next year to save $100 million under legislation approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

If signed by the governor, the measure would consolidate the state's presidential primary election with its statewide direct primary election in June.

California had previously moved its presidential primary to February in hopes that it would give the state more clout in the election, but many other states also moved their votes to that month.

State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) said that at a time when local and state governments are facing tight budgets, it does not make sense to incur the extra cost of holding a presidential primary in February, a statewide primary in June and a general election in November.

"We have to be fiscally prudent with the taxpayer dollars, with the taxpayers of the state of California,’’ De Leon said before the 34-3 vote on AB 80, which was previously approved by the Assembly.

Some Republicans, including state Sen. Tony Strickland of (R-Moorpark) opposed the bill, arguing the state could still save money and restore some clout if the state and presidential primaries were consolidated in March.

"Too many times California is ignored. Our issues are ignored,’’ Strickland said.

-- Patrick McGreevy

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