Presidential Primary date released, NH will go first

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Scanlan talks to the media. Courtesy photo/New Hampshire Visitors’ Center Director Virginia Drew

CONCORD, N.H. – After weeks of speculation it’s official: the next New Hampshire Presidential Primary will be held on January, 23, 2024.

On Wednesday, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan announced the date for the Primary, where the 21 Democratic and 24 Republican candidates, and possibly write-in candidates, will hope that New Hampshire voters aid them on their path to the White House by electing delegates that will vote for them in their respective national conventions as well as the national prestige that comes with showing the ability to connect with voters at a face-to-face level in the country’s first presidential primary

This primary date announcement has drawn additional attention to the National Democratic Committee’s (DNC) decision to place South Carolina ahead of New Hampshire as the first official primary on its nominating calendar.

Scanlan disagreed with that decision, stating that the First in the Nation Primary belongs to the voters rather than national elites.

“(The DNC’s) threats from my perspective were meaningless,” he said. “New Hampshire has a tradition and New Hampshire has a law and that is going to be followed, no matter what.”

While Iowa’s Republican Caucus is seen as a different type of electoral contest and is not bound by New Hampshire’s law requiring it to go seven days ahead of any comparable event, Scanlan said that New Hampshire’s date would change if another state tried to move its primary date ahead of Jan. 23.

Given New Hampshire’s non-compliance with the DNC’s electoral calendar, it is likely that delegates elected will not be allowed entry into the Democratic National Convention this summer to cast their votes for the party’s presidential nominee.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley said that DNC Chair Jamie Harrison has broad latitude to not seat delegates from New Hampshire or potentially impose other penalties, but there are no DNC meetings scheduled until after the national convention.

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Chris Ager was pleased with the date, with the Republican National Committee retaining New Hampshire as its first official primary this cycle. He added that Biden has abandoned New Hampshire due to his decision to not officially participate in New Hampshire.

Incumbent U.S. President Joe Biden has not officially filed for the primary due to the DNC’s decision, with supporters in New Hampshire mounting a write-in campaign to help him win the primary regardless.

Scanlan said that despite the likely large number of write-in votes expected on Primary Night, the results from both parties’ contests will probably be released on the night of the Primary.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu voiced his confidence the ability of local election moderators across the state to deal with the unusual circumstances they now face.

Sununu also echoed Ager’s comments, stating his belief that the DNC’s decision will harm the Democrats’ eventual nominee

“(The DNC) has tried every which way to move us off of where we are, off of our law, which we’re obviously not going to do. I think we’ve set the precedent of try as you might, we do it best and we provide that opportunity here in New Hampshire,” he said. “(Candidates) can skip New Hampshire at their own peril. Go ask Rudy Giuliani how that worked out for him.”

Video of Scanlan’s announcement can be seen here.

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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.