Governor Signs Legislation to Boost Efforts To Protect New Hampshire's Presidential Primary

From The Office of Governor John Lynch

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today signed legislation that will boost the state's efforts to protect New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, by allowing the Secretary of State to set the filing period for the primary separately from establishing the date of the Primary.

" In the more than 50-year history of the New Hampshire primary, we have created a strong tradition of giving all candidates a level playing field and of giving all candidates the opportunity to make their cases directly to voters. We have made it possible for the so-called unknown candidates to make their case, without having millions in the bank, " Gov. Lynch said. " In turn, we have demanded much of candidates. We demand that candidates move beyond the rope line and the photo op. We demand that presidential candidates directly answer the hard questions from voters.

" The traditions that took New Hampshire 50 years to build cannot simply be re-created in another state. Without New Hampshire, we would end up with campaigns composed of pre-scripted town hall meetings and television advertisements, and where only the best-financed candidates would be able to compete.

" That is why New Hampshire's primary should remain first, and why New Hampshire's primary will remain first, " Gov. Lynch said.

Every four years, some other states attempt to challenge New Hampshire's primary. Currently, some in California want to move their state primary before New Hampshire. Some at the Democratic National Committee have advocated placing multiple events just before or after New Hampshire. Some in the Florida and South Carolina Republican parties are advocating moving their primaries to impinge on New Hampshire's tradition.

" We have warded them off because we have stood together. And that is what we will do this year - and that is what this legislation helps us do. We will protect New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation tradition by standing together. And we will watch carefully to see who stands with New Hampshire, " Gov. Lynch said.

Recently two potential presidential candidates, Senators John Kerry and Evan Bayh voiced their strong support for New Hampshire and their opposition to the DNC moving any event in between.

The legislation, HB 1125, was sponsored by Rep. Jim Splaine.

Rep. Splaine, Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Republican and Democratic lawmakers and representatives of the New Hampshire political library joined Gov. Lynch for the bill signing.