House Democrats Statement on Legislation to Eliminate Open Primaries for US Senate Candidates

January 29th, 2015

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Lucy Weber released the following

statement after the public hearing on HB 338, which would partially return NH to the process of

selecting the state’s US Senators which was in place before the passage of the 17th Amendment to

the US Constitution.

“Instead of having an open primary, this bill would mandate that members of the New

Hampshire House and Senate select the candidates for U.S. Senate. Not only does this proposal

favor candidates chosen by a few elected officials rather than by the people, it allows the

possibility that, if the same person were nominated by both Hose and Senate, voters would be

left with no primary choice at all,” said Representative Weber. “When asked how the bill was

constitutional under the provisions of Part 1, Article 11 of the NH Constitution, which guarantees

the equal right of every citizen to be elected to office, bill sponsor Rep. Dan McGuire stated that

he had not read that provision.”