Kansas, South Carolina GOP scrap presidential nominating contests

Kansas, South Carolina GOP scrap presidential nominating contests
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Kansas’s and South Carolina’s Republican parties on Saturday voted to cancel their GOP primaries in 2020 ahead of the presidential race.

"With no legitimate primary challenger and President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE's record of results, the decision was made to save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million and forgo an unnecessary primary," South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. "President Trump and his administration have delivered for South Carolinians, and we look forward to ensuring that Republican candidates up and down the ballot are elected in 2020."

The Kansas GOP tweeted Friday that it will not organize a caucus because “President Trump is an elected incumbent from the Republican Party.”

Instead, its state committee reportedly planned to approve rules on Saturday to create an “internal party process” to select delegates for the Republican National Convention, multiple sources told the AP.

Neither the Kansas nor South Carolina GOP immediately responded to requests for comment from The Hill.

Nevada and Arizona Republicans are also reportedly slated to cancel their primaries and caucuses in a move that would exemplify Trump’s control over the GOP at the state level. Nevada officials scheduled meetings later Saturday to discuss the state’s nominating contest, while Arizona officials will reportedly decide on their state’s proceedings later this month

State party officials in Kansas and Nevada, according to the Trump campaign, suggested they were taking this course of action to cut costs and use the money for other races.

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The move is said to not be unusual if an incumbent president is seeking reelection. The South Carolina GOP leaders canceled the state’s primary in 1984 as former President Reagan sought a second term, and in 2004, the state’s GOP canceled its primary once again — this time, to endorse former President George W. Bush for reelection.

The Arizona Democratic Party also did not hold primaries in 2012 and 1996 when former Presidents Obama and Clinton, respectively, were running for reelection. 

Trump is joined by two long-shot primary challenges from former Rep. Joe WalshJoe WalshAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Trump challenger Bill Weld: 'My goal is to win' The Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' MORE (R-Ill.) and former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Overnight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Bill Weld: 'I wouldn't take money from the oil and gas companies' MORE for the Republican presidential nomination.

Walsh blasted the Republican Party on Friday for allowing state parties to cancel the contests, calling it “undemocratic BS.”

Trump’s reelection campaign has worked to monitor the delegate selection process ahead of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., with the goal of making it an “infomercial” for the Trump presidency free of anti-Trump voices, according to the AP.