The Senate rejected a proposal to move Minnesota’s primary date to June and sent it packing back to conference committee. The vote to reject the conference report was 35-30.
The proposal to move the primary from August to June didn’t pass on its own in the Senate. A House-Senate conference committee added the June primary. The House on April 4 narrowly passed it 66-65.
The bill’s chief Senate author, Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, didn’t support the earlier primary but wasn’t able to kill it in conference committee.
“I lost that discussion,” Chamberlain said.
Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, said the longer general election process will result in less interest from the public in legislative races. Cohen said the change would result in a “very compressed election process [during the early part of the process], and at the back end, a very elongated election process.”
A couple of Senate Republicans, including Warren Limmer of Maple Grove and Ray Vandeveer of Forest Lake, spoke in favor of the motion by Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights, to send the bill back to conference committee.