At it stands, Democratic voters in Washington, D.C., will be last in the nation to weigh in on who should challenge Donald Trump in 2020’s presidential contest. But some local politicos want to change that. At a meeting Thursday, the D.C. Democratic State Committee will consider whether to recommend moving up the District’s primary from June 16 to April 28, or some other early spring date. “If you want to be competitive in the democratic process, you need to be early up,” said D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who represents the District on the Democratic National Committee. Evans and others have long argued that an earlier primary would draw national attention to the city’s lack of representation in Congress and spark more enthusiasm from local voters.
“For statehood purposes, we want to get these candidates to come here and campaign and answer our questions,” Evans said. “It’s important we are part of the process.”
Evans has pushed similar efforts in previous presidential cycles.
In 2003, he led the D.C. Council to approve moving the next year’s primary from May to January, leapfrogging ahead of the traditional primary season kickoff in New Hampshire. But the Democratic State Committee withdrew its support for the proposal, and balloting proceeded that year in a nonbinding primary aimed at drawing attention to the voting-rights cause.