Nevada will hold its presidential caucuses on January 14, Nevada Republican Party Chair Amy Tarkanian announced Wednesday.
“I’m extremely pleased to finally have a firm date for a caucus that will greatly improve Nevada’s standing and relevance in terms of national politics,” Tarkanian said. “By establishing this date, we maintain Nevada’s standing as one of the first four ‘carve-out’ states and as the very first in the west.”
The primary schedule was thrown into chaos following Florida’s decision to hold their primary on January 31, before the four early states — Nevada, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa — were scheduled to hold their primaries or caucuses. South Carolina has since announced it will hold its primary on January 21. New Hampshire and Iowa have not yet announced dates.
Nevada faces several constraints. New Hampshire requires a seven day buffer before and after its primary and any other state’s nominating process. Moreover, that primary is traditionally held on a Tuesday. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who, by state law, has sole responsibility to set the state’s primary date, has threatened a December primary to ensure that those conditions are met.
With a January 14 Nevada caucus, the latest possible date for the New Hampshire primary would be January 3.
Gardner told the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston that he would wait to announce the date of the New Hampshire primary until Nevada had announced the date of their caucus.
The second problem for Nevada, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported, was that Tarkanian did not “want to compete with South Carolina for attention from the candidates, who had to choose between the two states the last time around,” when the two states’ nominating processes were on the same date. A January 14 caucus date avoids that conflict.
“This is absolutely in the best interest of our state,” Tarkanian said of the January 14 date. “We are in the process of creating a caucus that will energize Republicans throughout Nevada and the west, and allow us to play a major role in deciding who will carry the fight to unseat Barack Obama and his destructive policies.”