Will Texans have a voice in the GOP primary? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Will Texans have a voice in the GOP primary?

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum swept the Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota caucuses and primary Tuesday night, then he decided to make the Lone Star State his first stop after the surprising victory.

All the excitement is making Texans wonder when exactly they will get their time to shine. The Texas primary was originally scheduled for March 6th but because of redistricting negotiations, they have been pushed back yet again to an unknown date.

A coalition of minority groups is challenging the new boundaries because they don't believe they are being equally represented. Experts say the two sides need to reach a compromise soon or the state that usually plays a key role in deciding the nominee may be left irrelevant.

Texas is the second biggest prize for GOP nominees with 155 delegates, and because of that, one Texas Tech Political Science Associate Professor Craig Goodman is optimistic.

"We could be voting at the end of the process and play a potentially pivotal role in determining which of the candidates could win the nomination in 2012," Goodman said.

By end of the process, he means June 26th. That's the last possible date the state could set the elections. But they are working towards holding them sooner.

As of now, the date new date they are working toward is April 24th. Goodman says because Texas will allocate its delegates proportionally, candidates may stay in the race no matter how long Texas waits to hold the primaries.

Lubbock County Republican Party Chair Chris Winn believes Texas may not have the same edge it has shown in earlier elections.

"Texas, by not having its primary March the sixth has lost some of its relevance. The voters of Texas have lost the impact that they would have in the primary process," Winn said.

Winn hopes that Texans will make a grand showing at the polls, whenever that may be.

"Where our economy is doing well, where we have jobs, where we are teaching our kids and where our families are strong. We have a message in Texas about the outcome of the primary election," Winn said.

The Texas Legislature hopes to have a decision made by the end of the month.

Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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