GOP Presidential Primary

Nevada GOP moves caucus to Feb. 4

Nevada Republicans chose Saturday to move the states caucus for GOP presidential candidates back several weeks, giving New Hampshire an option not to host its first-in-the-nation primary in 2011.

The Republican State Central Committee decided to move the caucus date from Jan. 14 to Feb. 4.

{mosads}Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement congratulating Nevada Republicans for alleviating the scheduling drama as his party’s hopefuls race for the presidential nomination.

“I want to commend Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian, National Committeeman and former Governor Robert List, National Committeewoman Heidi Smith, and the entire Nevada Republican Party for the unanimous vote to move the Nevada caucuses to February 4th,” Priebus said. “This change ensures that Nevada retains its prominent national role, as the first contest in the West  and it restores Nevada’s full slate of delegates to the Republican National Convention.”

Nevada party leaders came under pressure from the national GOP for scheduling their caucus date so early in the year. That led to threats from New Hampshire Republican officials that they would move their presidential primary up to December of this year. Florida set off a scheduling scramble when it shifted its primary to an earlier date.

The Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 will be the first competition in the primary season, as New Hampshire will likely open its polls a week later.

“The voters and our candidates are well served by a nomination process that starts in 2012 and today’s action is a major step toward that goal,” Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party said in a statement.

This story was updated at 6:05 p.m.

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