SC keeps 'First in the South' Republican primary - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC keeps 'First in the South' Republican primary

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIS) -

South Carolina will maintain its status of "first in the south" for the Republican Presidential Primary in two years.

Members of the 168-member Republican National Committee on Friday voted overwhelmingly to preserve the state's primary date as one of only four states to hold primaries in February.

Under new rules, if any states jump ahead of South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, the other states will be penalized.

"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," said SCGOP Chairman Matt Moore. " 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."

"Early states like South Carolina have an important role in the Presidential nominating process," said National Committeewoman Cindy Costa. "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."

The primary is tentatively set for February, 2016.

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