ALBUQUERQUE – On a strong 28-12 vote, the Rules Committee of the Republican National Committee today adopted the “Ohio Plan” that revises the presidential nomination process for 2012 and includes a carve out for New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary. RNC National Committeeman Sean Mahoney of Portsmouth is New Hampshire’s representative on the Rules Committee and cast his vote for the plan.
“This is an important first step in the process of preserving our first in the nation primary. There is broad consensus that our Republican nominating process has worked well, and the way John McCain earned our nomination is prima facia evidence of that,” said Fergus Cullen, chairman of New Hampshire Republicans. “As one Rules Committee member said, ‘What happened this year to make anyone think our nominating process is broken?’”
Key points of the Ohio Plan:
- Retains Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada as early carve out states;
- Specifies that South Carolina and Nevada must go after New Hampshire;
- Establishes a “pod” of small states for a second round of voting beginning not earlier than the third week of February;
- Establishes three rotating pods of larger, geographically diverse states (as opposed to regions) that will vote in separate rounds of voting separated by three week intervals;
- Backs up the start date of primaries to February to avoid peak campaigning over the holidays;
- Retains the existing 50 percent delegate penalty for states that break the rules by going earlier than their scheduled window.
“This plan retains the best features of the current system while improving some of its weaknesses,” Cullen said.
The plan is not finalized, however, and could be changed at the Republican National Convention in September. It will be reviewed there by the RNC Rules Committee, then by the broader convention Rules Committee composed of delegates, and finally by the full convention of delegates.
Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party
10 Water Street
Concord , NH 03301