SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Utah lawmakers have advanced a measure to hold the nation’s first 2016 presidential primary.
The House voted 58-14 Monday to approve the bill creating an online primary election a week before any other state.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports the national Republican Party threatens to cut Utah delegates from 40 to nine if the state makes such an attempt. National Democrats have not yet weighed in.
Bill sponsor and Ephraim Republican Jon Cox says even a diminished delegation would have more influence.
He says the online component would let state bump up the election if others try to race ahead.
Elsewhere, attempts to snatch New Hampshire’s designated first place have pushed candidates away.
During Nevada’s last presidential primary, Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman campaigned in New Hampshire instead.