Utah Bill Aims to Hold First Presidential Primary

Published on March 11, 2014 at 11:23AM

Utah lawmakers have advanced a measure to hold the nation’s first 2016 presidential primary. The House voted 58-14 Monday to approve the bill creating an online primary election a week before any other state. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the national Republican Party threatens to cut Utah delegates from 40 to 9 if the state makes such an attempt. National Democrats have not yet weighed in.

Bill sponsor and Ephraim Republican Jon Cox says the online component would let the state bump up the election if others try to race ahead. He says even a diminished delegation would have more influence.

Elsewhere, attempts to snatch New Hampshire’s designated first place have pushed candidates away. During Nevada’s last presidential primary, former Gov. Jon Huntsman campaigned in New Hampshire instead.