Politics

March 19, 2013

Republican leaders: Get rid of Maine caucus

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Republican caucus

Should the Republican National Committee do away with state conventions and caucuses like the one held in Maine?

Yes

No

View Results

click image to enlarge

Registered Republican voters Elton Anderson, left, of Milbridge, and Gary Willey, right, review presidential comparison materials before the Washington County Republican Super Caucus in February 2012 in East Machias, Maine.

AP

Former York County Republican Committee Chairman Ron Morrell said primaries tend to turn the votes into a "national campaign."

While more people may vote in a primary, caucuses get people more involved, he said.

Some Maine Republicans pushed to switch to a primary system last year after the clash between Paul and Romney supporters at the state convention.

Former Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, noted that primaries are held for every other major office in Maine, including governor and Congress.

Raye introduced a presidential primary bill at the end of last year's legislative session but it was spiked by a committee.

He sees primaries as more inclusive than caucuses, which tend to attract far fewer participants.

"Any time that you can make the process more inclusive, that's a good thing," said Raye, who ran for Congress last year and lost to Rep. Mike Michaud. "Primaries have been used in more and more states for a reason. It works well and it is open."

Rep. Roberta Beavers, D-South Berwick, has filed a bill in this legislative session to switch to a presidential primary system in Maine.

Rep. Deane Rykerson, D-Kittery, has filed a bill request for nonpartisan primaries for presidential and congressional elections.

Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, said party Chairman Richard Cebra was not ready to advocate for one system or the other Monday.

Cebra would want to talk to legislative leaders about the issue, Savage said.

"We will support the process that ensures that every Republican has a voice in the process," he said.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@mainetoday.com

On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

 

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Today's poll: Republican caucus

Should the Republican National Committee do away with state conventions and caucuses like the one held in Maine?

Yes

No

View Results

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