Decide soon if you’ll run for office this fall
It makes sense that state and federal primaries will now be scheduled on the same day. Having primaries on different days made little sense. It was costly to counties to have to hold separate elections, and the process likely played a role in low voter turnout.
Ramming the combined date through the state Legislature to start this year, however, may create problems that could hurt representation at the local level of government.
The federal primary used to be held in June while the state primary was held in September. Now all primaries will be held in June. Combining the dates pushes all of the dates associated with running for office much earlier in the year.
Town candidates, for example, used to be able to make a decision on their candidacy in the spring, but the earlier calendar to get petitions for office printed means local parties need to have their candidates lined up by mid-February to allow ample time for primary challengers to circulate their petitions, have them certified by the Board of Elections and get ballots printed before a primary election in June.
Again, it makes sense for the state to combine the federal and state primary elections, but we wish the date had been pushed to 2020 to give local political party officials time to line up candidates.
Making the changes immediate doesn’t hurt state and federal party operatives because there isn’t much happening with federal and state elections this year. Locally, however, the November election could be a busy one with county and town positions up for grabs. They will be the test batch.
People thinking about running for local office had better make up their minds quickly, or they could miss the boat for 2019.