N.J. leans toward moving presidential primary back to June

    A Senate committee has advanced a bill to change the date of New Jersey’s presidential primary back to June.

    State law was changed in 2005 to move the primary from June to February so New Jersey would have more influence in selecting presidential candidates.

    But Sen. Jim Whelan says it didn’t have the effect that was intended.

    “I don’t think we got the bounce that we thought we were going to get in terms of visits of candidates and stimulation to the economy and a greater say in New Jersey’s role for president,” he said.

    But Sen. Robert Gordon, the only committee member to vote against it, says the change will have a negative impact.

    “We’ll be an afterthought in the presidential selection process. The process will have really have run its course. There will be no mystery as to who the presidential candidate is going to be,” Gordon said Thursday. “We’ll have a low turnout.”

    Supporters say having the primary election for president and state offices at the same time would save between $8 million and $10 million.

    The Assembly passed the bill last month.

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