On Bill Gardner’s desk one day last week rested a column from a Las Vegas newspaper lamenting the imminent “surrender” of Nevada Republicans in their effort to move the state closer to the front of the presidential nominating calendar. They had surrendered to the man behind the desk, the 63-year-old New Hampshire secretary of state, who had stared down Nevada to the surprise of no one who has watched him wield tremendous clout in the process of choosing a president. Written on top of the page, and circled for emphasis, was another term in the column: “King Bill.”
Next week, Gardner is expected to announce that New Hampshire, having brushed back Nevada’s move for prominence, will hold its presidential primary Jan. 10, cementing the order of nominating contests that for the 24th straight cycle has no state’s primary coming before New Hampshire’s. Nevada moved back to Feb. 4, weeks after it had hoped to make its debut.
Maintaining the first-in-the-nation role has proved a more challenging task every four years, but Nevada’s decision marked another victory for New Hampshire voters, and for the unassuming Gardner as the guardian of their tradition.
Full Article: Bill Gardner a New Hampshire institution – latimes.com.