Washington, D.C. – In an overwhelming vote of the full 168-member Republican National Committee (RNC) held today, South Carolina Republicans secured the 2016 “First in the South” Republican Presidential Primary. The primary will tentatively be held in February 2016. Under new RNC rules approved by the full committee, only South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada will hold contests in February 2016. States that “jump” ahead of the four early states will be severely penalized. In 2012, the lack of such severe penalties brought chaos to the nominating calendar and pushed the first four contests to early January of that year.
Today’s vote was spurred by last year’s RNC “Growth and Opportunity Project” and includes new RNC rules that will considerably shorten the Republican presidential nominating calendar. South Carolina National Committeeman Glenn McCall, who was instrumental in drafting the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” commented: “The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held in late June or early July, giving the eventual nominee more time to access general election funds. This important reform strikes a great balance between a constructive nominating process and giving our nominee more time to compete in the general election.”
SCGOP Chairman Matt Moore commented, “South Carolina leaders including National Committeewoman Cindy Costa, Committeeman Glenn McCall, and former Chairman Chad Connelly worked extremely hard over the past few years to secure our 2016 ‘First in the South’ primary. They deserve a huge thanks. Today’s vote is a huge win for South Carolina and the country. We have taken historic steps to reform the nominating process and return a Republican to the White House.”
National Committeewoman Cindy Costa commented, “Early states like South Carolina have an important role in the Presidential nominating process. They are a springboard to help underfunded and upstart candidates gain momentum and potentially compete across the whole country. Allowing any candidate with great ideas to compete for President of the United States is a uniquely American ideal. It was important for us to protect that ideal.”