Arizona state Rep. challenging Iowa's first-in-the-nation status

Lovas said he introduced the bill to give Arizonans a greater voice in the primary electoral process.

"Quite frankly, for 40-plus years Iowa and New Hampshire have helped essentially determine who is or who is not the nominee for both parties," he said Wednesday. "And I feel as though Arizona voters are being disenfranchised."

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States jockey for earlier and earlier primary dates because the nominees shower time and attention — and money — on the earliest states, hoping to get a head start and a boost of momentum in the first months of the season. Lovas said that influx of attention was on his mind when proposing the bill.

This isn't the first time Arizona has attempted to raise its profile in the nominating process. Last year, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer proposed moving the state's primary up to Jan. 31.

Faced with pressure from other state Republican officials, who scrambled to shift their primaries to come before Arizona's proposed date, Brewer backed down and left the primary at the date provided by Arizona law, Feb. 28. But even that broke national party rules, which mandated only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada could schedule their primary contests before March 6.

Arizona joined a handful of other states that also moved their primaries up in incurring penalties to their convention delegations. Following last cycle's chaotic scramble of primary dates, the Republican National Committee has considered increasing the delegation penalties of those states that move their primaries back.