Republican Party presidents in the first four states to hold presidential primaries and caucuses are teaming up to oppose a Nevada Democrats’ move to disrupt the nominations schedule by shifting their competition to the starting position.
GOP Chairs Jeff Kaufman of Iowa, Steve Stepanek of New Hampshire, Drew McKissick of South Carolina and Michael McDonald of Nevada jointly released a statement Tuesday that made clear their opposition to a Democrat-sponsored bill that was passed by the Nevada legislature.
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“As leaders of the GOP of the four excluded states, we want to make it clear that we stand in solidarity to protect the schedule of presidential appointments as it has existed for many years,” said the four presidents in their statement. “Our alliance is strong and we will continue to work together to preserve this historic process.”
Nevada’s measure – AB126 – would turn the state caucus into a primary and move it to the first Tuesday in February of the presidential nomination years. Nevada is currently third on the Democratic nomination calendar, behind the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. It is fourth on the Republican calendar, behind Iowa, New Hampshire and the South Carolina primary.
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The bill still needs the signature of Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak, who did not say if he would sign the law but who supported the idea. And it would need the support of national parties – the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC). If Nevada brought forward its contest date without national parties signing on the move, it could face sanctions and the loss of convention delegates.
The push for the Silver State bill comes after longtime former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who served for eight years as Senate Majority Leader, began to make waves in December as ‘he urged his home state to move to the start of the appointment schedule.
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Reid, who remains very influential in the National Democratic Party, helped move the Nevada caucuses in 2008 from an afterthought to third on the Democratic presidential nomination calendar.
For years, the blow against Iowa and New Hampshire – among some Democrats – has been that states are too white, lack large urban areas, and are not representative of a Democratic Party, which has increasingly become more diverse in recent decades. Nevada and South Carolina are much more diverse and have larger metropolitan areas than Iowa or New Hampshire.
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The statement from the GOP chairmen of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada was not the first time they’ve teamed up this year to protect the current schedule. They held a welcome session at the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee in Dallas to gain support from other members of the national committee and state party officials in maintaining the existing nomination schedule.
Stepanek told Fox News: “New Hampshire will always stand alongside Republicans in Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada in defending our country’s first primary and the current nomination schedule. Our joint efforts will strengthen and secure our primary schedule of separation. for years to come. “
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