Apr 21, 2016 4:23 PM

Steinhauser: Motion to strip NH of its position as the first primary withdrawn at GOP meeting

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – Score another round for New Hampshire in its fight to keep its first-in-the-nation primary status.

A resolution to end the so-called carve out states (New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada) in the GOP primary and caucus calendar was withdrawn on Thursday.

The motion, introduced by Utah committeewoman Enid Mickelsen, was originally introduced at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Charleston, South Carolina in January. It was tabled at the time, with the possibility that it could come up again this week as the RNC’s Rules Committee reconvened at the spring meeting in Hollywood, Florida.

But Steve Duprey, the longtime RNC committeeman from New Hampshire and a member of the Rules Committee, told NH1 News that “the motion was withdrawn and I pointed out that all three of our presidential candidates have indicated they support the carve out states.

Duprey was talking about Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Trump, the front runner for the GOP nomination, pledged at a rally in December in Nashua that “New Hampshire will always maintain its place if I win.”

The news was first reported in the Granite State by NH1 News early Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this week Duprey touted the Granite State’s performance in February’s GOP primary.

“I think New Hampshire acquitted itself very well, with record turnouts, record participation, we gave 17 different candidates on the Republican side a fair shot. That’s what our job is and I think we did it very well,” Duprey declared.

But Thursday’s victory doesn’t mean New Hampshire’s out of the woods.

Duprey said fight to keep the primary first “will come up at the RNC Rules Committee meeting that we hold just before the convention, in the four days leading up. Then what ever decision is made by that Rules Committee will be voted on by the full 168 members of the RNC. Then those are really suggested rules that are handed to the Rules Committee of the convention. They get a go at it. And then all 2,000 plus delegates get to vote on it as well.”

While Duprey’s long led lobbying efforts to convince fellow RNC members of the wisdom of keeping New Hampshire’s primary first, he isn’t alone. He said that New Hampshire’s RNC committeewoman Juliana Bergeron and NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn are key parts of the team. And he added that “it will be all the 23 members of the New Hampshire delegation down there (at the Republican convention in Cleveland) getting deputized. Iowa does the same. South Carolina does the same. So it’s a massive effort. A lot of coordination, a lot of hard work.”

When it comes to the Democrats, the state appears to be in the clear for the 2020 election cycle.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, told NH1 News in February that the Granite State will “absolutely” remain first in the party’s 2020 primary calendar.

“We actually for the first time in decades had no discussion over the states in our primary window,” the DNC chair added.

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