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S.C. House introduces First-in-the-South Presidential Primary bill

Office of the Speaker

March 27, 2012

Ensuring SC’s First-in-the-South Presidential Primary
House Bill will preserve Palmetto State’s national influence

(Columbia, SC)  –  Today, the S.C. House of Representatives introduced a measure (H. 5081) aimed at securing our state’s First-in-the-South Presidential Primary.  A majorly influential position for both political parties, this early primary brings more than just status recognition – it translates into high-profile national exposure and millions of dollars in economic impact.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell said, “As South Carolinians, we take our duty of selecting the next President of the United States very seriously.  Since the election of President Ronald Reagan, South Carolina’s First-in-the-South Primary has swayed huge national influence.  With more and more state’s trying to jump ahead of South Carolina each election, we need to take steps to protect our state’s historic primary position.”

“Modeled after New Hampshire’s Presidential Primary state law, the House has introduced a bill that will cement South Carolina’s spot as the First-in-the-South Primary state,” Speaker Harrell added.  “Along with the national exposure and one-on-one interaction our citizens have with the future President, this early primary translates into millions of dollars in added economic benefit for our state.”

With an incumbent President seeking reelection, our state hosted a single-party primary this year.  Even though only one political party conducted a Presidential Primary this cycle, the impact on our state was immense.

Facts & figures from SC’s 2012 First-in-the-South Presidential Primary:

–  A record 600,000 South Carolinians voted in the January 21st Election
–  5 Presidential debates (Greenville, Columbia, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach & Charleston)
–  Over 1,000 on-site media members from 30 states & 12 countries covered SC’s Primary
–  Hundreds of campaign events across SC, each generating much-needed economic activity
–  $13.2 million in television ads purchased in SC, drawing mostly out-of-state dollars
–  $14 million economic impact for the Myrtle Beach debate alone
–  Nearly $½ million increase in Charleston tourism revenues over the Election weekend

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