Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Snubs White House Over Primary Schedule Change

(Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will not attend the White House Congressional Ball Monday amid backlash over the Democratic Party’s shake up of its presidential primary schedule.

Senator Shaheen is focused on helping to make New Hampshire’s case heard,” a spokesperson for the senator told Punchbowl News, which first reported her plans. The Democratic National Committee voted on Friday to give South Carolina first-in-the-nation primary status, downgrading New Hampshire to the same day as Nevada.

New Hampshire law requires that the state hold its presidential primaries before any other, and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has said that will not change.

“It’s a terrible disservice by Democrats to try and strip Granite Staters of the First in the Nation status that they have worked hard and earned time and time again. The good news is that our primary will still be first and the nation will not be held to a substandard process dictated by Joe Biden and the Democrat Party,” he said in a statement.

The DNC reserves the right to revoke delegates from states that refuse to follow its rules. The party did so in 2008, initially refusing to count Florida delegates after the state moved its primary before Super Tuesday. Candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards refused to campaign in the state. Democrats later counted only half of Florida delegates at their convention.

Under the DNC’s new schedule, South Carolina will go first in 2024, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day. Georgia will go fourth, and Michigan fifth. Iowa will be downgraded following technical issues that marred the 2020 caucuses. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Nevada Democratic Party Defies Biden’s Measure For South Carolina To Precede Its 2024 Primary)

“In New Hampshire, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, where you come from or who knows your name – in our primary, everyone has a fair shot. It’s tremendously disappointing that the president failed to understand the unique role that New Hampshire plays in our candidate selection process as the first primary state,” Shaheen said in a statement after the vote. “It’s a shame the White House’s short-sighted decision risks splintering attention from candidates, denying voters crucial opportunities to connect with candidates and hear their visions and policy priorities.”