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  For N.H. Democrats, Timing Is Everything
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Last EditedArmyDem  Nov 29, 2005 09:54pm
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateWednesday, November 30, 2005 03:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionOfficials Aim to Head Off Primary Changes

By Chris Cillizza and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 30, 2005; Page A06

New Hampshire Democrats launched a public campaign yesterday to preserve their first-in-the-nation presidential primary against intrusions from rival states and the work of a Democratic Party commission. Granite State partisans said the quadrennial presidential spotlight is as vital to the identity of their state as the Derby is to Kentucky and the Statute of Liberty is to New York.

The action came less than two weeks before a Democratic National Committee commission studying the presidential nominating process is scheduled to recommend changes to the calendar for 2008. Party officials said the commission will probably propose inserting two to four caucus contests ahead of the New Hampshire primary but after Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Under this scenario, New Hampshire would still be the first primary, but its publicity and clout would be diminished.

To head off such a recommendation, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan and former chairman Joe Keefe offered what they described as a compromise proposal. It would give two more states, to be selected later by the national committee, the authority to move up their contests to the first weeks of the nomination battle -- but schedule them after the New Hampshire primary.
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