Dec 17, 2015 11:34 AM

New Hampshire official sets Feb. 9 presidential primary date

The Associated Press

CONCORD — New Hampshire's secretary of state has scheduled the first-in-the-nation presidential primary for Feb. 9, 2016, a move that had been widely expected given the lack of pressure from other states.

In past years, other states have jockeyed to move their primaries and caucuses earlier in hopes of grabbing some of the spotlight New Hampshire enjoys. But New Hampshire state law requires its primary to be held at least seven days ahead of any other similar contest and gives Secretary of State Bill Gardner exclusive power to set the date.

The date Gardner announced Thursday is less than eight weeks away, but he's cut it closer before. For the 2008 primary, he waited until Nov. 21 to set the Jan. 8 date.

Iowa will hold the first caucuses Feb. 1.

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