NC likely to tweak 2016 primary date to comply with GOP rules

01/24/2014 6:19 PM

01/24/2014 6:20 PM

The Republican National Committee on Friday voted for some rule changes on the primary calendar for the 2016 presidential race. But state Rep. David Lewis, who was in Washington at the meeting as a party national committeeman for North Carolina, said there would be little impact on the state.

Under the rule change, states could be penalized by losing delegates to the national party conventions if they hold their primaries before March 1, except for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the states that go first and will vote in February.

Last year, the General Assembly passed a law that set the state’s presidential primary on the Tuesday after South Carolina’s Saturday primary. The idea was that candidates would be spending money to campaign in South Carolina’s early primary and probably would go to North Carolina as well, Lewis said.

“It was always contemplated and discussed and debated, though, that if any of the three major parties had problems with that date that would reduce North Carolina’s delegate strength, then the General Assembly would revisit that,” said Lewis, a Republican from Dunn. “So I fully expect the General Assembly to revisit that in May and to make clear that our primary will be after March 1 as required by these rules.”

The legislature also will seek rule information from the Democratic National Committee and the Libertarian Party as well, he said.

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