By Morgan True, VTDigger.org
Senator Anthony Pollina (D/P/W-Washington) wants Vermont to hold its presidential primary the same day as neighboring New Hampshire, and he’s introduced a bill to do just that.
The former gubernatorial candidate and longtime state Legislator says the purpose is twofold: it would give the state an “economic shot in the arm,” and it would give Vermonters a greater role in choosing the president.
“There’s a lot of money generated during primary season, and there’s no reason why Vermont shouldn’t reap some of the benefits of the early primary,” Pollina said. Towns along the Connecticut River may stand to benefit the most, but much of Vermont would likely see an increase in hotel nights, meals out and mass-media buys, he said.
It would also be good to “have more liberal and progressive voices heard” so that they can help “shape the debate” early in the electoral process and play a larger role in deciding the eventual nominees.
Pollina said he didn’t have U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in mind when he introduced the legislation, but he sees how it could have “ancillary benefits” for the potential presidential candidate.
The bill is now before the Senate Government Operations Committee, where Chairwoman Jeannette White (D-Windham) said it will get a hearing at some point, but she could not say when.