Deal reached on N.C. presidential primary date, Pope tells Jones & Blount

Claude PopeNC GOP Chairman Claude Pope
Claude Pope

NC GOP Chairman Claude Pope

RALEIGH — N.C. GOP Chairman Claude Pope told Jones & Blount today that the party and General Assembly leaders have reached an agreement to keep North Carolina’s 2016 presidential primary in compliance with national Republican Party guidelines. While the deal did not include the actual date, it means that the legislature has agreed to move the primary, which had been set to closely follow South Carolina’s first-in-the-South vote and would have incurred severe penalties from the national party.

“We are glad that the Senate has agreed to move to a compliant date,” said Claude Pope, outgoing chairman for the N.C. Republican Party. Pope said that if the state had not moved the date from the first Tuesday after South Carolina’s primary, North Carolina Republicans would have had their voting delegates to the Republican national convention slashed from 72 to just 12 representatives.

In 2013, the legislature voted to move the state’s primary day from May to just after South Carolina’s. Then just over a month ago, the N.C. House voted to move it back on the primary calendar, but the Senate has not acted on that bill.

Proponents of the earlier date wanted to ensure that North Carolina would share in the national spotlight that accompanies an early primary. With the May date, the nominee is generally known by the time North Carolina Republicans vote.

Visit Jones+Blount for continuing coverage of the N.C. GOP convention. The convention is in Raleigh and runs Friday-Sunday. 

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