Kansas City, MO – August 6, 2010 – South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd today announced that South Carolina will retain its unique status as the nation’s First in the South Republican Presidential Primary, with a new rule passed by the Republican National Committee.
The date of the primary will likely be set in late February of 2012, after the Iowa and New Hampshire contests. All other states are encouraged by the new rule to have their contests in April, but can go in March so long as they award their delegates on a proportional basis.
The new rule has the effect of elongating the primary process, giving more states an opportunity to impact the nominating process.
However, if any states other than Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada choose to circumvent the process and go earlier than March, the state Party holds – and will use – its “trump card,” the ability to set its own primary date without having to get legislative approval.
During the RNC meeting in Kansas City, Chairman Floyd and the South Carolina delegation worked with the delegations of other early states to ensure no changes were made to adversely impact South Carolina’s role in the presidential nomination process.
“South Carolina voters are eager to do their part in choosing a new Republican president to reverse the destructive path of spending and debt that the Obama Administration and its lieutenants like Nancy Pelosi and John Spratt have put our country on,” Floyd said. “We remain committed to doing whatever is necessary to preserve our unique place in that process. We have a remarkable track record in putting forward a nominee to carry the Republican banner, and as Chairman I am committed to doing whatever is needed to preserve that role and that legacy.”
Since South Carolina’s First in the South Presidential Primary was begun in 1980, no Republican has been nominated for the presidency without first winning South Carolina. The event and the campaigning leading up to the vote are also an enormous economic boon to the state.
Floyd pointed to a number of benefits to holding the presidential preference primary in South Carolina. South Carolina’s geographic area makes it possible for candidates to attend multiple forums and meet as many voters as possible. Also, the relatively low cost of running a statewide campaign in South Carolina allows candidates to save crucial resources for the real fight in November.