Illinois to make pitch for coveted early 2024 primary slot

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Polling place

Hoping to become the new hot spot for the next presidential cycle, top Illinois Democrats will make an unusual public pitch later today as to why the Land of Lincoln should join New Hampshire in being one of the first states – if not THE first – in the nation to hold its presidential primary in 2024.

Illinois Democratic Party Chair Robin Kelly is expected to lead the presentation to the Democratic National Committee, accompanied by, among others, Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, Illinois Comptroller Anna Mendoza and, if his schedule permits, Sen. Dick Durbin. The case-making will be streamed live on DNC’s YouTube channel.

For decades now, New Hampshire has led the quadrennial Democratic parade, preceded only by the Iowa caucuses. But Iowa’s position has slipped thanks, in part, to the chaotic vote tally in 2020. So the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is reportedly eyeing a new system in which one state from each of the country’s four main regions would go first, with a fifth state to be added later.

Illinois is said to be bidding for the Midwest regional slot, with Minnesota and Michigan also said to be in the mix.

The pitch will have two main elements:

1. That it’s a diverse state that is home to lots of minority voters who are among the party’s most loyal backers.

2. Changing state law to move the primary date up from its usual slot during the third week in March will be no problem since Democrats control both chambers of the legislature and incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker is a Democrat.

A final decision is expected before Labor Day. I’m sure lots of Democratic voters here would like to see their vote really count in selecting the party’s nominee for a change, rather than waiting for other states to make the call.

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