New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said Tuesday he will hold off making a final decision on the state’s presidential primary until next week. Gardner’s office had been working toward announcing the date as soon as Tuesday, but ultimately changed course and decided to wait until after the close of the two-week period when candidates can qualify for the state ballot.
Through Monday, 17 candidates — 15 Republicans and two Democrats — had done so by submitting a one-page declaration of candidacy and a $1,000 filing fee.
Gardner, empowered by state law to call what traditionally has been the nation’s first primary at the time of his choosing, is widely expected to set the contest for Jan. 10.
The path became clear for New Hampshire when Nevada Republicans voted Saturday to change the date of their nominating caucuses from Jan. 14 to Feb. 4. Gardner had said that unless Nevada moved, he would have been forced to call his state’s vote as early as Dec. 6.