New Hampshire’s presidential primary will be held Jan. 23, state officials announced on Wednesday.
The date had been in contention since the Democratic National Committee decided earlier this year to change its nominating calendar, which had long given New Hampshire the first primary slot after the Iowa caucuses. The new Democratic calendar puts South Carolina first, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada together on one day, then Georgia, then Michigan.
But New Hampshire officials have made clear that they will refuse to abide by the D.N.C.’s decision. The state has a law requiring it to hold the first-in-the-nation primary, and additionally, the Republican Party still has the state in its traditional position in the early lineup of Iowa first, New Hampshire second, and then South Carolina and Nevada.
“We will be holding our primary first,” Ray Buckley, the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said last year after initial reports that the D.N.C. intended to change the schedule.
In a statement after the date was announced, Mr. Buckley said, “For more than 100 years, presidential candidates of both parties have come to the Granite State time and again because, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how much money they have, they know they will get a fair shot from Granite Staters.”
New Hampshire’s secretary of state has the authority to set its primary date, and the state law says its presidential primary must be held on either the second Tuesday in March or “seven days or more immediately preceding the date on which any other state shall hold a similar election, whichever is earlier.” The secretary of state, David Scanlan, is a Republican and had previously indicated that he intended to follow that law.
Because New Hampshire is violating the D.N.C.’s edict, President Biden did not put his name on the ballot there. Some of his supporters are running a write-in campaign on his behalf, but it is not officially sanctioned. Party leaders could also penalize the state by refusing to count its delegates at the Democratic convention.