Political campaigners might get a break around the New Year, after all. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, New Hampshire’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner threatened to hold the state’s key early primary in December.
New Hampshire has held the first presidential primary of every election year since 1920. In 1975, it became New Hampshire state law that the primary take place seven days or more before similar elections that would challenge this position, Gardener stated.
Florida has moved its primary up to January 31, 2012. South Carolina set their date for January 21st and Nevada moved their caucuses up to January 14th — five weeks earlier than originally planned. This would make Tuesday, January 3rd the earliest day that New Hampshire could have their primary, the same date that Iowa is considering for their caucus.
“The political parties did not give New Hampshire its presidential primary,” Gardener wrote in his statement. “Traditionally, it has been the first in the nation for almost a hundred years, and our state law protects our tradition. We have the largest turnout in the country, and our citizens take their roles and obligations seriously.”
The Secretary of State urged Nevada to reconsider their caucus date, saying it is tradition, state law and a matter of the maintenance of democracy to keep the New Hampshire primary first and in January of next year.