Whitmer Signs Bill to Move Presidential Primary to February 2024

by Scott McClallen


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law that aims to move the presidential primary to earlier in the 2024 primary season.

Whitmer said the change would boost the economy.

Senate Bill 13 advances Michigan’s primary from the second Tuesday in March to Feb. 27, 2024, and the fourth Tuesday in February in each presidential election year after 2024.

“We’ve come together to grow our economy and create jobs through transformational investments in the technology of the future,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We’re making our economy more resilient and putting the world on notice that we are playing to win. I was proud to sign Senate Bill 13, which will bring economic activity to Michigan and ensure our voices are heard during the primary process. Let’s continue to create jobs, grow our economy, and build a state where everyone can envision their future.”

Republicans opposed the bill. Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton Twp, said the bill was rushed and didn’t represent her constituents.

“As legislators, we are elected by the people in our communities to represent their views and serve as their voice in Lansing,” Bollin said during a speech opposing the measure. “We’re supposed to set aside party affiliation and the preferences of political party leaders and work for the people in our districts based on principles. Moving up the presidential primary is not an issue I hear about from people at home. It’s not even an issue I heard about from the local clerks as the chair of the House Elections and Ethics committee last term.”

The House gave the bill immediate effect, but the Senate didn’t. It’s unclear if the bill will be in effect in February 2024. One possibility to activate the bill in time without a two-thirds vote of each chamber is to conclude the session early in November, which could give a 90-day window to trigger the bill.

U.S. Congresswomen Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., welcomed the signed bill.

“We have always said that any road to the White House goes through the heartland – our state legislature and Governor Whitmer understand that,” Dingell said in a statement. “Michigan is the most diverse battleground state, and in our state, you see the diversity of experiences across America: racial diversity, political diversity, and diversity of geography, industry, and labor. While we are one step closer to the early primary states looking like the nation becoming a reality, the fight isn’t over, and we will work hard to earn the votes of the full DNC.”

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer Signs 2024 Primary Bill” by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.




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