Schoeller files legislation to nix primary

— With Missouri’s presidential primary election out of compliance with national party rules, some state legislators want the primary ended all together.

House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, filed legislation Wednesday to cancel the primary, after legislation stalled in the Senate that would have moved the primary within national party rules.

In response to the legislative gridlock, the Missouri Republican Party decided last month to establish caucuses. But without legislative action, the February primary will happen but not count, costing the state nearly $8 million.

Schoeller, who is considering a bid for Secretary of State, said if the primary doesn’t count, he hopes the state can just save the money.

“Ideally we would move the primary and allow the people to make their voices heard in this process,” said Schoeller. “That’s what the House wanted to do but the Senate was simply not able to follow suit. It leaves us in a situation with the potential for an $8 million taxpayer-funded straw poll that will have no relevance. For the sake of all Missouri taxpayers, the best thing we can do now is to eliminate the primary.”

State Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartvielle, the chairman of the House Elections Committee, co-sponsored the legislation with Schoeller. Dugger said he hopes the primary problem is addressed before the legislature recesses from special session.

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