The Republican National Committee, unhappy with the way its nominating contest stretched out in 2012, is planning major changes for 2016 that could push Oregon Republicans to seek an earlier date for the state’s presidential primary. At least that’s what Greg Leo, a former Oregon GOP chief of staff and informal adviser to the party, thinks. “The Legislature’s going to have to look at moving up the primary” from its traditional mid-May date, said Leo after the national committee voted last week for a series of rules changes revamping the nominating calendar.
In Leo’s view, the national Republican changes would leave Oregon at the very end of the primary calendar and make it difficult to have enough time to choose delegates to the national convention, which the party now wants to hold in late June or mid-July.
Oregon Republican Chairman Art Robinson said in a telephone interview Sunday that he wants to first talk with other state party officials before reaching any conclusions on how Oregon should react to the new RNC calendar.
Of course, there might not be much the Oregon Republican Party can do in any case. The Democratic-run Oregon Legislature sets the date of the state primary and has opposed changing the date.