GOP Party Chairs in Early States Want Presidential Primary Schedule to Remain

GOP Party Chairs in Early States Want Presidential Primary Schedule to Remain Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid voting Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid votes on the first day of early voting for the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus at the East Las Vegas Library on Feb. 15, 2020. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 09 June 2021 05:52 AM

The Republican Party chairmen in the four earliest primary voting states want the schedule to remain as it is as Democrats in Nevada are pushing to hold its election about two weeks earlier.

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, Republican Party of New Hampshire Chairman Stephen Stepanek, Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael J. McDonald, and South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick released the following joint statement Tuesday in response to the Nevada Legislature passing AB 126 which makes changes to the presidential primary process:

“As the GOP leaders of the four carve out states, we want to make clear that we stand together in protecting the presidential nominating schedule as it has existed for many years,” the joint statement said. “Our alliance is strong, and we will continue to work together to preserve this historic process.”

Nevada’s state legislature recently passed bill AB 126 that would move that state’s primary election about two weeks earlier, to the first Tuesday of February, according to the bill.

Currently, Nevada is controlled by Democrats in both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s office, according to the Ballotpedia website.

Both the State Senate and House passed the bill, and it now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak for a signature to make it a law, the Gazette reported.

Nevada is currently third on the schedule for primary voting in presidential races, with the Iowa caucuses the first week of February, followed by New Hampshire the second week, and ending with South Carolina during the last week of the month, according to a primary voting schedule posted on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

Former Sen. Harry Reid has been lobbying Democrats for the move behind the scenes, according to an ABC News report.

Reid was not happy with the way the Iowa Democratic Caucuses were handled in the 2020 election cycle, and the fact that the two early states, including New Hampshire were predominantly white.

While Sisolak has not indicated if he will sign the bill, he has supported the concept.

The national political parties must approve changes to the election calendar for federal offices or the state’s delegates may not be counted at the national conventions, according to the report.

Democrats are seeking to get rid of the caucuses altogether in favor of straight primary voting, the Associated Press reported.

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