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Chairman Connelly issues statement on “First in the South” presidential preference primary


Columbia, S.C. – SCGOP Chairman Chad Connelly today issued the following statement regarding South Carolina’s “First in the South” Republican presidential preference primary:

“The South Carolina Republican Party is committed to having a spectacular and successful primary in early 2012. On multiple fronts, I am working with our legal team, the State Election Commission, legislators, and the Governor’s Office to protect it.

“South Carolina’s ‘First in the South’ primary plays a critical role in the American political system. Our diverse, informed voters are a bellwether for campaigns both large and small, given South Carolina’s size and cost of campaigning. It is no surprise that South Carolinians have picked the eventual Republican presidential nominee in every cycle since 1980 and I expect the tradition to continue in 2012. The nation’s eyes will watch our state early next year and, in addition to adding tens of millions in economic activity, the primary election will shine a positive light on South Carolina.

“Like too many South Carolina households, our state government faces a budget crunch in the coming year. Yet the South Carolina Republican Party’s insistence on state involvement in the primary is less about money and more about following the law. We must conduct elections with utmost care. Ballot access, impartiality and protecting against fraud are just a few concerns, and next year’s primary will meet the highest of standards. I believe that secure elections and complying with federal law are absolutely a core function of state government.

“Every fiscal conservative bone in my body screams to protect taxpayers in this case, but some functions of state government deserve our utmost respect. I will continue to fight for state involvement in the primary.”