NewsPublic Affairs / January 17, 2020

State Lawmaker Proposes Eliminating U.S. Senate Primaries

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The Indiana Statehouse. - FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Indiana Statehouse.

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

An Indiana state senator wants to get rid of primary elections for U.S. Senate races.

Sen. Jim Buck’s (R-Kokomo) legislation was heard by the Senate Elections Committee, though its passage seems unlikely.

Instead of primary elections for U.S. Senate, Buck’s bill would have state party conventions choose the major party candidates. For comparison – more than 500,000 people voted in Indiana’s 2018 Republican primary. The state GOP convention had less than 2,000 delegates.

Buck says he’s worried about how much money has influenced elections. Common Cause Indiana Executive Director Julia Vaughn says that’s a reasonable concern that’s not addressed by the bill.

“We believe that the power in elections needs to rest with the voters,” Vaughn says.

Buck responded to that.

“You know where else the people get a vote? Soviet Union," Buck says. "Do they have freedom?”

Several committee members expressed opposition to the bill. Committee Chair Greg Walker (R-Columbus) urged Buck to try to get more support before he would hold a vote.

Contact Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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