Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tulsa World: Opinions vary on effects of early primary in state

Moving the state's presidential primary up a week will either lure more candidates to Oklahoma or hurt the Sooner State, depending on who you ask. House Bill 2095, by Rep. Trebor Worthen, R-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, would move Oklahoma's presidential primary next year to Jan. 29 from Feb. 5. The bill passed the House by an 82-14 vote earlier this month and awaits action in the Senate, where its fate remains uncertain.

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Lisa Pryor said the Democratic National Committee could fine candidates who come to Oklahoma if the primary is changed. In addition, the party could lose some of its 47 delegates to the convention, she said.

"If we change our primary, as soon as the law is effective candidates can't come in here without campaigns being fined by the DNC," Pryor said. "That would be foolish to pay campaign dollars for fines when you don't have to. That is a waste of money."

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