Arizona Gov. Brewer contemplates January primary
Copper State Gov. Jan Brewer is evidently feeling a little left out when it comes to the 2012 presidential contest, and is considering moving the state’s presidential primary to the last Tuesday in January for extra attention.
The move, which doesn’t have to be made until 150 days before the chosen date, according to reporter Howard Fischer of Capital Media Services, would throw a major wrench into the nomination calendar already agreed to be the two major political parties. In that calendar, Iowa is set to lead the contests with its caucuses on Feb. 6, and New Hampshire a week later with its first-in-the-nation primary. On the party calendar, Arizona would hold its primary on Feb. 28.
Brewer told Fischer that such a move would give her state the national attention she believes it deserves.
“Arizona is at the forefront of advancing solutions to national issues such as immigration and border security, Medicaid spending, and the financial crisis,” Brewer said.
“It only makes sense that our state be positioned to have its voice heard loud and clear when it comes to the presidential nomination process,” she continued. “Moving Arizona’s presidential preference primary election into January would ensure that our citizens are major players in the 2012 campaign.”
The potential move by Arizona is also complicated by Florida scheduling its primary on Jan. 31, 2012.
States that skip forward in the nomination line do face punishments from their respective parties. Specifically, they can lose up to half of their assigned delegates for the national convention, which, for Republicans, is scheduled to take place in Florida.
The Iowa GOP, led by Chairman Matt Strawn signed onto a Nevada letter in late March that calls for the Republican National Convention to be moved if Florida doesn’t play by the calendar rules.
In past election seasons, including 2008, when other states rumbled about moving their dates ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire, the candidates themselves were placed on the spot as to whether or not they would support the nomination calendar set in place by their national political party. Although GOP candidate Fred Karger has openly stated that other states should respect the existing calendar, none of the major candidates have as of yet voiced such a preference.
Even with open support of candidates in 2008 the two first national contests narrowly averted being forced to move into December 2007.