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Legislative Bills Seek to Close Louisiana's "Open Primary" in Federal Elections
Shreveport, LA, Times ^ | 04-21-03 | Morgan, Robert

Posted on 04/21/2003 5:11:45 AM PDT by Theodore R.

Edited on 05/07/2004 7:00:37 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

But even the authors have different views about the chances of any of them passing.

"I think they're the best they've been," said Rep. Charles Lancaster, R-Metairie, a longtime critic of the open primary system who has tried for years to reverse it.


(Excerpt) Read more at shreveporttimes.com ...


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: closed; federal; la; lancaster; open; primary
I actually met Representative Lancaster in 1974, when he was a very young legislator full of idealism and conviction. I recall our discussing the 1974 upcoming elections and the beating the GOP was certain to take because of Watergate. I was even younger than he. He may be termed-limited and ineligible to run for reelection in 2003.

Yes, he has long opposed the "open primary," not to be confused with "open primaries" in TX, SC, AR, MS, TN, AL, or GA. The LA law was drafted by then Governor Edwin Washington Edwards as a mean of slowing Republican growth by setting up a system in which, conceivably, the two runoff candidates would nearly always both be Democrats. The EWE plan worked as intened, primarily for the U.S. Senate, much less so for governor, the legislature, or the U.S. House.

However, the 2002 LA Republican fiasco (Senate and 5th District House seat) makes more Republicans want to jettison the "open primary" to make sure that the often-divided GOP can unite on a single nominee. Too bad for the GOP the Lancaster plan is already not in effect, for it would be most useful in this year's gubernatorial contest, in which seven badly divided Republicans are fighting five Democrats for two runoff spots. Most seem to think that two Democrats, one of which will be Attorney General Richard Ieyoub, will emerge in the runoff. The divided GOP is seen without a likely runoff berth this year. In LA the so-called "runoff" is technically the "general election."

Another point: the Louisiana presidential primary, rarely the subject of national interest, is already CLOSED to registered party members.

1 posted on 04/21/2003 5:11:45 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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