All 2014 Congressional Primaries Will be May Thru September, Except for Outliers Illinois and Texas

In 2014, all states will have their congressional primaries in May, June, July, August or September, except that Texas will hold its congressional primary on March 6, and Illinois on March 18. It is possible that during 2013, legislatures in those two states will modify their 2014 primary dates. Also Louisiana doesn’t hold congressional primaries. It just holds a congressional election on November 4, 2012, and then if no one gets 50%, holds a runoff in December.

The Texas 2014 primary date means that candidates for Congress in 2014 must file a declaration of candidacy in little more than a year from now.


All 2014 Congressional Primaries Will be May Thru September, Except for Outliers Illinois and Texas — 8 Comments

  1. Richard, what’s the historical background on these primaries because it seems strange for states, as government entities, to run election contests for private political parties, as opposed to the general elections, for example? At a minimum, it would seem natural for these parties to reimburse the state governments for all the expenses involved, plus all the free publicity given by “state recognition” of the process. Has there ever been a legal challenge of the state’s using taxpayer money for this purpose?

  2. In the 19th century parties nominated by convention or caucus at their own expense. The Progressive movement pushed for primaries to replace party meetings. In the south, in many states, parties paid for their own primaries, but outside the south, the government took it on. After all, it was the government that ordered the parties to stop nominating by party meeting and begin nominating by primary. Parties just can’t afford to put on primaries. Some southern parties paid for primaries by using the revenue from filing fees, but then in 1972 the US Supreme Court stopped mandatory filing fees, at least for candidates who couldn’t afford them, so even those southern states then persuaded state governments to pay for the primaries.

  3. How much to print a private ballot, send it out, send it back ???

    How many private groups have snail mail elections for their group officers ???

    #3 The LA law is a perversion of the U.S.A. law — thanks to the perversion of the SCOTUS morons in the Love case.

    The election madness by the robot party hacks is getting worse and worse.

    P.R. and App.V. END the madness.

  4. Texas has to accommodate the primary runoff and the May uniform election date. You may recall the implementation of the MOVE act in 2011 when the requirement to send ballots overseas 45 days required moving the primary runoff which had been in the first week in April to the end of May. In addition, they made it harder for cities and school districts to hold their elections in May in even years. Cities and counties conduct their own elections, but they typically use county election equipment; or sometimes they contract with the county to run the elections for them.

    The party primaries are technically run by the political parties in the counties, but they also ordinarily use the county voting equipment. The legislation passed in 2011 gave first priority to the parties, so that the cities might have to go elsewhere to get equipment. The House sponsor earnestly got the primary changed to April with the runoff in late June, which would straddle the spring uniform election date. He was ambushed with a floor amendment to put the primary back in March.

    If you were an incumbent, why wouldn’t you want the filing deadline to be in December? If there is a special session, it can be held after the primary runoff. If anyone is upset about the results of the special session, it is too late to run.

  5. #4 The oral arguments for Foster v Love are on the Oyez web site. AG Ieyoub argued for Louisiana that their system of elections was so unique that the November election date was irrelevant. If Louisiana wanted to have a July primary and an August general they could. It was totally a manner regulation.

    The lawyer for Love countered that when Congress set the uniform election in 1872 that all states conducted their elections like Louisiana. There were no partisan primaries, all candidates would contest the election, without partisan segregation and exclusion.

  6. #2 Filing fees still are used to help defray the cost of primaries in Texas, though it is somewhat symbolic now.

    In the 1972 case Texas had set filing fees for statewide and legislative offices, but not for county offices. County parties conduct party primaries in Texas. If a party does not have an organization in the county, they don’t have a primary. Neither the Republicans or Democrats had primaries in all 254 counties in 2012. County parties were setting really outrageous fees for low level offices to fund their primary.

    But what happened was that Texas set more reasonable filing fees, and started funding primaries. Convention-nominated candidates do not pay a filing fee since their parties are funding their conventions. There was a proposal to start requiring their nominees to pay a filing fee. The Libertarian Party pointed out that they were eligible to hold a primary if they wanted to. They got a fiscal note added to the bill. If this bill is passed it will generate a few hundred thousand dollars in revenue which will offset a very small percentage of several million in payments for Libertarian Primary. The bill didn’t get out of committee.

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