SB505: Political parties; to determine method of nominating candidates.

SENATE BILL NO. 505
Offered January 13, 2010
Prefiled January 13, 2010
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 24.2-509 and 24.2-516 of the Code of Virginia, relating to political parties to determine method of nominating candidates.
Patrons-- Smith; Delegate: Ware, R.L.

Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That §§ 24.2-509 and 24.2-516 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 24.2-509. Party to determine method of nominating its candidates for office.

A. The duly constituted authorities of the state political party shall have the right to determine the method by which a party nomination for a member of the United States Senate or for any statewide office shall be made. The duly constituted authorities of the political party for the district, county, city, or town in which any other office is to be filled shall have the right to determine the method by which a party nomination for that office shall be made.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, the following provisions shall apply to the determination of the method of making party nominations. A party shall nominate its candidate for election for a General Assembly district where there is only one incumbent of that party for the district by the method designated by that incumbent, or absent any designation by him by the method of nomination determined by the party. A party shall nominate its candidates for election for a General Assembly district where there is more than one incumbent of that party for the district by a primary unless all the incumbents consent to a different method of nomination. A party, whose candidate at the immediately preceding election for a particular office other than the General Assembly (i) was nominated by a primary or filed for a primary but was not opposed and (ii) was elected at the general election, shall nominate a candidate for the next election for that office by a primary unless all incumbents of that party for that office consent to a different method.

When, under any of the foregoing provisions, no incumbents offer as candidates for reelection to the same office, the method of nomination shall be determined by the political party.

For the purposes of this subsection, any officeholder who offers for reelection to the same office shall be deemed an incumbent notwithstanding that the district which he represents differs in part from that for which he offers for election.

§ 24.2-516. Party to furnish names of chairmen and notify State Board of adoption of direct primary.

Each political party within the Commonwealth shall furnish to the State Board the names and addresses of its state, county, and city party chairmen in January of each year, and during the remainder of the year it shall notify the Board of any changes in such names and addresses.

At least 120 days prior to the regular date for a primary, the Board shall inquire of each state chairman and each county and city chairman whether a direct primary has been adopted. The Board shall advise each chairman that notification to the Board of the adoption of a direct primary is required and must be filed with the Board not more than 110 days and not less than 90 days before the date set for the primaries.

Each chairman shall file timely written notice with the Board whether or not a primary has been adopted and identify each office for which a primary has been adopted. The requirement to notify the Board of the adoption of a direct primary shall be satisfied when the Board receives by the deadline (i) written notice from the appropriate party chairman or (ii) a copy of the written notice from an incumbent officeholder to his party chairman of the incumbent's selection, pursuant to § 24.2-509, of the primary as the method of nomination.