Codey: Primary Move Was The Right Move

Senate President and Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, Speaking at a Bill Signing for Identity Theft Legislation.

TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today hailed New Jersey’s move in the Presidential primary as a triumph for voters who for years had been disenfranchised by New Jersey’s last-in-the-nation primary day status.

“Clearly, our move to February 5th has emboldened voters,” said Sen. Codey. “The eyes of the nation are on us this week, and for the first time in almost 25 years, we have the chance to really impact the course of our nation. I think we’re going to see that this move has awakened a sleeping giant – that large part of our electorate that had felt disenfranchised by the irrelevance of our June primary.

“This move has energized voters and engaged people who otherwise might not have had any interest in politics. More importantly, for the first time in many years, we are presented with a choice rather than just the opportunity to rubber stamp the presumed nominees. This is what democracy is all about,” added Codey.

Sen. Codey was the lead sponsor of legislation that first moved New Jersey’s primary up from June to Feb. 28. After a number of other states were added to the early primary calendar, Sen. Codey sponsored new legislation that moved New Jersey’s primary to the Tuesday after the first Monday in February.

“Clearly this move is paying off in terms of drawing candidates and their surrogates to New Jersey to pay attention to the issues that matter to our voters,” added Codey. “And with that, they’re bringing revenue, attention, and a renewed sense of importance to our state. We’re no longer just an ATM machine for campaign coffers. Now we’re a substantive part of the debate on the direction of our nation.”

Sen. Codey noted that during the 2004 presidential election, New Jersey ranked 8th nationally among total donations provided to presidential candidates, while our state was among the last two to vote in the primary. Sen. Codey also pointed out that New Jerseyans contributed over $15 million to the last presidential election, even though the major party nominations were all but sealed up by the time state residents were able to voice their opinion in the June primary.

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