March 22, 2007 / 3:03 PM / 13 years ago

NY votes to move presidential primary to Feb 5

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York will join a growing list of U.S. states moving their presidential primary to February 5 in an effort to influence who wins the White House in the 2008 race.

New York state’s Assembly and Senate both voted late on Wednesday to move the election from March 4. The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

New York joins more than 20 other states, including California, New Jersey and Florida, that have moved or are considering moving their primaries to February 5.

The Empire State has long complained that presidential candidates use it as a cash machine, coming for Wall Street’s campaign dollars but not to court voters.

“New York is one of the most influential states in the Union in almost every category except picking presidential candidates,” Sen. Joseph Griffo, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Elections Committee said in a statement.

“Moving up our primary date ... will bring candidates to our state and force them to speak on the record about issues of importance to New Yorkers.”

The move comes as two New Yorkers lead in early presidential polls — Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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