South Carolina’s First in the South GOP Presidential Primary status carved out

RNC takes first step toward protecting state’s unique primary status.

Tuesday, May 11 – Washington, D.C. – South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd today announced that a special committee of the Republican National Committee has recommended preserving the state’s First in the South Republican Presidential Primary status.

Today, the RNC’s Temporary Delegate Selection Committee issued a recommendation to carve out South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. The formal vote on those recommendations will be held later this year, but today’s action virtually ensures that South Carolina’s unique First in the South status will be preserved through the 2012 presidential election.

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.

“South Carolina has a remarkable track record in putting forward a nominee to carry the Republican banner, and we’re pleased today that the Committee has recognized our unique and historic role in this important political process,” Floyd said. “What’s more, South Carolinians are some of the most eager in the nation when it comes to reversing the destructive path of debt and spending that the President has put our country on. While we are singularly focused right now on winning in 2010, keeping our First in the South status has been a top priority of my Chairmanship, and I want to thank the committee, and my fellow Chairmen in the other early states for working cooperatively on this endeavor.”

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.

The Temporary Delegate Selection Committee approved the following language today:

“No primary, caucus, or convention to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention shall occur prior to the first Tuesday in March in the year in which a national convention is held. Except Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada may begin their processes at any time on or after February 1 in the year in which a national convention is held.”