Secretary of State
Nation’s Lieutenant Governors Endorse NASS Regional Presidential Primaries Plan
National Lieutenant Governor’s Association Votes Unanimously to Support Regional Primary Overhaul for 2012
(Washington, DC) The National Association of Secretaries of State’s (NASS) Rotating Regional Presidential Primaries Plan has received another major endorsement from a national organization of state officials. The National Lieutenant Governor’s Association voted today to endorse adoption of the plan for 2012 and beyond. The proposal was introduced by Utah Lieutenant Governor Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, and Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, a Democrat.
“On behalf of NASS, we are grateful to Lieutenant Governor Herbert and Secretary Bradbury for working together in bipartisan fashion to introduce this plan to their counterparts,” said NASS President Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State. “Today’s endorsement adds the collective voice of the nation’s lieutenant governors to the call for a fair, logical and orderly process that gives every state and its voters a reasonable opportunity to play a role in the selection of the presidential nominees. The NASS proposal is the best way to achieve these goals with results that are representative of all regions of the country.”
The NASS plan would divide the country into geographical regions (East, South, Midwest and West) and spread out the primaries and caucuses over a time period of four months, beginning in March of each cycle. The voting order of the regions would then rotate every four years. The traditional “lead-off” contests in Iowa and New Hampshire would still come first, but only as a warm-up to give lesser-known, under-funded candidates the chance to establish themselves as genuine competitors in the larger, regional competitions that follow.
The NASS Subcommittee on Presidential Primaries, co-chaired by Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro, is leading the effort by secretaries of state to urge state and national political party leaders to adopt a regional primary system in accordance with their party rules.
“I am grateful to the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association for the foresight to endorse a plan that will best address the front-loading problem in our presidential primary calendar,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “In particular, I appreciate Kentucky Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo, who took the time to meet with me on this important issue and whose support helped make this endorsement possible.”
The NASS Rotating Regional Presidential Primaries Plan is the only reform proposal with bipartisan support from federal, state, and local elected officials. In addition to today’s National Lieutenant Governor’s Association endorsement, the Council of State Governments has taken a position in support of the plan. The NASS plan was also endorsed by a 2005 blue-ribbon panel, the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III. U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) are chief sponsors of federal legislation that mirrors the NASS plan, the Regional Primaries Act of 2007.
“I am proud to lend my support—and that the NLGA has lent its support—to a plan that addresses this highly important and pressing national issue,” said Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo. “The show of bipartisanship and attitude of cooperation that has been displayed in support of this plan demonstrates that individuals of all political affiliations are ready for a change to our current system. I appreciate all the hard work Secretary of State Trey Grayson has put into it.”
The RNC Standing Committee on Rules will meet this spring to discuss reform proposals. The DNC has indicated that it will examine its nominating procedures at a later date.
For more information, visit www.nass.org.
# # #