On a party-line vote, the Nevada Senate Tuesday passed legislation creating a presidential preference primary and moving the state’s primary date from June to the last Tuesday in February.
SB421 was opposed by Democrats who argued it was a solution to a Republican problem.
“If they want to have a presidential primary for Sheldon Adelson let Sheldon Adelson pay for it,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas.
He said if they put the primary in June instead of February, he would gladly support it.
He was joined by Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, who said it “I don’t think it’s fair to move everyone into a problem the opposition party has with rogue elements of their own party.”
Sponsor James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, said his constituents put up a petition two years ago urging the state to move away from the caucus system to a presidential primary vote in part because that vote is confidential while caucus votes for one candidate or another are public.
Segerblom also questioned the lack of a fiscal note on the bill saying he has proposed election changes in the past and always been told it would cost money to do that.
Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said fiscal staff contacted the Secretary of State’s office and was told the state already foots the bill for the primary election, adding the presidential names to the list would cost practically nothing.
The vote was 11-9 with Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, absent.
SB421 goes to the Assembly.