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Southern states look to regional 2016 primary

2 years 2 weeks 4 days ago November 22, 2014 Nov 22, 2014 Saturday, November 22 2014 November 22, 2014 5:59 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY

ATLANTA - There's an effort underway to create a Southern primary for the 2016 presidential campaign, bringing states like Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi together on the first Tuesday in March.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp calls it the "SEC Primary," after the Southeastern Conference, saying he wants the regional primary to be just as powerful as the SEC is in football.

Kemp plans to change Georgia's primary to March 1, 2016. In Tennessee, lawmakers set that date in 2011 so no legislation is needed. And officials in Arkansas and Mississippi say they are also working to move their primary to that day.

It remains to be seen whether Louisiana and Alabama will jump in, while Florida and Texas are also eyeing March 1 primaries.

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