The Ohio Democratic Party has recommended that the state's 1984 primary be moved forward from June to May to boost the presidential candidacy of Sen. John Glenn.
The change must be approved by the legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, and it got the blessing this week of Ohio House Speaker Vernal Riffe Jr. and Senate President Harry Meshel, both Glenn boosters. The change has also been endorsed by Gov. Richard F. Celeste.
"This is an attempt to have Ohio play a bigger role in the election process," said party Chairman James Ruvolo. He said that in 1980 the race for the Democratic nomination "was over by the time we got to Ohio."
William White, Glenn's campaign manager, said he thought the change would help Glenn. "The Ohio primary is of minimal value to Sen. Glenn in June," he said.
The party also asked the Democratic National Committee to change the selection process for delegates to the 1984 convention. It would allow the 105 delegates elected from the state's 21 congressional districts to be chosen on a slate with the presidential candidate or individually.
Voters could then vote for party leaders as delegates. However, with most of them backing Glenn, he would benefit.
In addition to the 105 delegates from the congressional districts, 35 will be elected at-large, 14 will be picked by the party and 19 will be selected by the party as uncommitted delegates.