Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Texas Dems And Reps Decoupling Convention Delegate Selection From Primary Election?

The unified primary election date is (just about) definitely moving to May 29, if not June 26. (See Michael Li's Texas Redistricting blog)

On Tuesday representatives for both the Texas Democratic Party and Republican Party of Texas told the San Antonio District Court three judge redistricting panel that their state party conventions will definitely take place during the second weekend in June, as scheduled.

Both political parties also told the three judge panel, that if the primary election is set for either a May 29 or late June date, the parties would require changes to party rules [as may be codified in Texas law] for convention delegate selection in order to accommodate the already locked-in state convention dates.

Among the possible rule changes offered to the court on Tuesday by Democratic Party general counsel, Chad Dunn, was the possibility of forgoing precinct conventions and moving directly to senate district [and county] conventions in April (sans primary election) to select delegates to go to the state convention.

Another alternative, not detailed to the court on Tuesday, would be for the Texas Democratic Party to go back to a 100% caucus-style precinct convention method in early April to select all precinct delegates, who would attend county and senate district conventions later in April, who would in turn, select delegates to go on to the state convention in June. However, the preference seems to be to skip separate precinct conventions and hold just senate district [and county] conventions. Mini precinct conventions within the senate district conventions would probably be the first order of business. (only editorial speculation at this point)
Steve Muniseri, chair of the Republican Party of Texas, told party members late Tuesday evening that the party would be seeking authority to use an alternative delegate selection process in light of prospects that the Texas primary will be pushed back to May 29 or late June.

"In the event that the primary is pushed back further, the RPT will still seek court relief to allow district conventions to go forward on the dates already scheduled, but with the different delegate selection process. Consequently, at this time - we urge you not to cancel your district conventions as they still may occur on the same day. We anticipate having a conference call with the SREC in the next week to discuss the situation and examine options together"

For Texas Democrats, there may yet be "old style" precinct conventions on April 3 (decoupled from the primary election) with senate district and county conventions on April 21. OR, there may be just senate district and county conventions on April 21, forgoing the precinct convention step.

Stay tuned....

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