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Rotate our primaries

As we wake up to the results of the Florida primary, no one can complain that the Republican presidential sweepstakes is dull.

As we wake up to the results of the Florida primary, no one can complain that the Republican presidential sweepstakes is dull.

The field of conservative candidates has gotten smaller with Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, John Huntsman and Rick Perry calling it quits.

Iowa picked Rick Santorum (but forgot to tell him). New Hampshire restored Mitt Romney to frontrunner status before South Carolina put Newt Gingrich back in the hunt with an upset victory.

Here in the Upper Left Coast we can only watch.

Anyone who pays attention in Oregon will surely point out how the Beaver state - by virtue of the timing of its May primary election - all but surrenders any voice in the selection of nominees from either major political party.

Odds are that by the time our primary rolls around, the Republican field will be down to the one or two candidates and Oregon will be nothing more than an afterthought.

Back in February 1999, the National Association of Secretaries of State proposed a system of rotating regional primaries to be held in March, April, May and even June.

The idea was simple: Give all voters equal opportunity - on a rotating basis - to participate in the selection process.

It was an idea that the secretaries of state reaffirmed in 2004, 2008 and again for the 2012 presidential election.

It's discouraging that this proposal has languished, particularly since the stakes are so high in the current race for the White House.

The war in Iraq has all but ended, but Oregonians continue to fight and die in Afghanistan; global economies tied to Oregon are failing; the economy shows signs of recovery, but job growth remains stagnant.

Given the magnitude of these issues, Oregonians deserve a louder voice in the selection of nominees for either party.




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