Pa. looks again to move toward the front of the presidential primary pack

     Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum greets supporters during a primary election night party in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, April 3, 2012. (AP file  photo)

    Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum greets supporters during a primary election night party in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, April 3, 2012. (AP file photo)

    In 2012, 28 states — including Louisiana, Texas and Maryland — held their presidential primaries before Pennsylvanians voted.

    Now a state lawmaker is renewing the call for the commonwealth to get out ahead in 2016.

    State Rep. Keith Greiner, R-Lancaster, said Pennsylvania has become irrelevant to the presidential primary process, and that needs to change.

    Greiner said he intends to propose legislation to move the state’s primary from late April to mid-March.

    Pennsylvania is tied with Illinois for the fifth most electoral college votes.

    With its size, and that number of electoral votes, Pennsylvania should play a larger role in the primaries, Greiner said.

    “We often are irrelevant,” he said. “The decision of who’s going to be running as president in both parties, both Democratic and Republican, parties is already settled.

    Moving the primary up also could bring more voters to the polls because they might feel like their ballot matters more, Greiner said.

    Proposals to move Pennsylvania’s primary have surfaced over the years, but never gained much traction.

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