Mich. Leaders Push For Regional Primaries

GENERIC Michigan democrats election primary vote
Even though Michigan Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis and Democratic activist Debbie Dingell were two of the driving forces behind moving up the state's presidential primary to Jan. 15, neither wants a repeat in 2012.

Anuzis and Dingell on Tuesday proposed a bipartisan presidential primary selection plan that would divide the 50 states into six regions. The nation would hold six separate presidential selection dates, with one or two states from each region chosen to participate on each date. A lottery would determine the order in which the groups voted.

The plan is patterned after the Levin-Nelson Presidential Reform Bill proposed in September by Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. That measure would create six primary dates, between March and June, featuring states from six separate geographic regions.

Under the Anuzis-Dingell plan, Michigan would be included in a region made up of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. It would hold its presidential primary or caucus on the same date as Connecticut, Rhode island, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Oregon.

"We need to end the monopoly of some states that always enjoy earlier contests while protecting every state's right to be relevant in the process," said Dingell, a Democratic National Committee member who has fought to take away Iowa and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status.