- Associated Press - Monday, March 23, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A legislative panel has rejected a proposal to move Arkansas’ presidential primary from May to March as part of an effort to create a regional nominating contest among several Southern states.

The proposal by Republican Sen. Gary Stubblefield of Branch failed before the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee on a 2-4 vote Monday. The bill would move Arkansas’ presidential primary in 2016 from May 17 to March 1. Several states have proposed moving their nominating contests to that day to create what they’ve dubbed the “SEC primary,” a reference to the Southeastern Conference in college athletics.

Stubblefield says the move would give Arkansas more clout in the party primaries and attract more candidates to the state. He said he’ll try his proposal again before the committee later.

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