The South Carolina GOP will announce the date of the Palmetto State’s Republican presidential primary in a press conference on the State House steps Thursday.
South Carolina prides itself on being the first primary in the South, which gives it a lot of say in who the Republican Party nominates for president. But now, Florida is hoping to increase its role in the contest by scheduling its primary much earlier than normal. CNN quotes Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon as saying he expects a Florida commission to choose that date.
However, that would violate party rules that do not allow any state besides Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to hold their primary before March 6. The state tried something similar in 2008. At that time, Florida’s delegates were not seated at the Republican convention as punishment. But the convention is in Tampa this year, making things a little tricker this time around.
The South Carolina GOP said it would announce a tentative date Thursday. But it may not be final, as South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa have all pledged to move their primaries ahead of any state that tries to jump them.
South Carolina Republicans do hold one advantage to the Sunshine State. Florida requires a special commission to set the date of its primary, while South Carolina only requires the GOP Chair. Current Chairman Chad Connelly said he will wait right up until an October 1 deadline (or possibly even later) to make the call if he has to.
— No candidates have planned to attend public events in the state Thursday, but one is sending his wife to act as a proxy. Former Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney’s wife Ann will hold two meet-and-greets in the Upstate before submitting her husband’s election filing forms in Columbia Friday.
Mrs. Romney will be at the Westside Library in Spartanburg at 10:15 am Thursday in an event hosted by Spartanburg County GOP activists. She will then head to the Simpsonville City Hall to meet voters at an event hosted by the Republican Women of the Golden Strip.