Louisiana lawmakers are looking to inch up the state’s 2016 primary to give voters more influence in picking the next president.
The legislature passed a bill Monday that would move up the state’s first presidential vote by two weeks to March 5, adding Louisiana as a coveted “Super Tuesday” state. The state would also leapfrog a half-dozen others with mid-March votes, such as Ohio and Illinois.
Louisiana had planned a March 19 primary, which would have made it the 25th state to hold a contest.
The state’s Democratic Party chair Karen Carter Peterson highlighted the rare bipartisan bill, which was passed on the last day of the legislative session.
“By moving up our primary by two weeks we are positioning Louisiana as part of the all-important Super Tuesday week,” she said in a release.
Roger Villere, chair of the state’s Republican party, added that Louisiana voters “deserve a place at the table as one of the early primary states that will determine our 2016 presidential nominees.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has not said whether he will sign the bill, but with so much bipartisan support, he faces little political risk. Jindal himself is considering a presidential bid in 2016, and giving himself an opportunity for an early influx of delegates would be a boon to his campaign.
The Republican National Committee has tried to tame the number of early primary states in recent years, threatening to take away convention delegates if primaries are held before March.
That move has preserved the political might of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, which typically attract more visits and ad buys from presidential contenders.
Lawmakers in Florida, Texas, Montana and Arizona have all worked to move up presidential primaries in the last year.