New Hampshire secretary of state hints at 2011 primary date

Amanda Carey Contributor
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In the wake of Florida’s Friday decision to officially move its primary date up to Jan. 31, 2012, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner released a statement hinting that the Granite State could hold its own Republican primary before the end of 2011.

The not-so-subtle suggestion came during Gardner’s announcement that the candidates’ two-week filing period to compete in the New Hampshire primary is now Oct. 17–28.

“Because we cannot rule out the possibility of conducting the primary before the end of this year, we are, regrettably, as we were four years ago, forced to move the presidential candidates filing period to October,” wrote Gardner.

He also used the opportunity to take a jab at the state of Florida, which has a history of shaking up the primary calendar to the chagrin of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — the only four states the Republican National Committee permits to hold primaries before March 6.

“In 1972, the State of Florida decided by law to have its Presidential Primary on the same day as New Hampshire,” wrote Gardner. “They were not successful. Since then we have not been able to continue having the primary on the second Tuesday in March, the only date specified in our state law to this day.”

In 2008, New Hampshire held its primary on January 8.

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