Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, presented his bill to the Senate Elections committee Monday, March 10.
He said the bill is necessary because candidates need a longer time to run an effective general election campaign.
"It's going to allow, after a primary, for them to reset and get together and be able to put together a better campaign for the November election," Kraus said. "Right now, you have three months, so you spend all your money in a primary that ends in August and if you win, now you have to go out and raise money and work to try to get your message out for a general election three months later and that is a lot to ask for candidates that run statewide in particular."
The bill would also move up the filing period.
Currently, the filing period runs from late February to late March.
Under the bill, the filing period would occur between mid-January and early February.
Democratic senator Paul LeVota, D-Independence, opposed the bill.
He said moving back the primary date would subject voters to more general election campaigning by candidates.
"Missourians are very used to having their primary in August and then using that fall time as their decision making. And if we extend that, that means more commercials, more mail, and more voter fatigue when it comes to November," LeVota said.
The committee took no action on the bill.