PRESS RELEASE from the South Carolina Republican Party: Tuesday, May 30, 2006

South Carolina Republicans Intent On Having "First In The South" Presidential Primary
Party Announces Creation Of Presidential Primary Task Force

(Columbia, SC) - During a press conference at the South Carolina Statehouse, state Republican leaders today stood unified as they announced their intention to once again conduct the “First in the South” Presidential Primary for the 2008 Presidential Election.

Katon Dawson, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, announced the creation of the South Carolina Presidential Primary Task Force. “By creating this Task Force we are renewing our commitment to hold the first southern presidential primary for the 2008 Presidential Election,” said Dawson. “South Carolina has proved to be a great testing ground for presidential candidates and a launching pad to the White House,” added Dawson.

Since the inception of the South Carolina Primary in 1980, no candidate has ever lost the South Carolina Primary and gone on to become the Republican Party’s nominee for President.

While setting the date for the Primary does not require legislative action, as it does in many other states, Chairman Dawson was joined at the press conference by the Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives Bobby Harrell and the Majority Leader of the S.C. Senate Harvey Peeler both showing their support for the South Carolina Primary.

South Carolina’s Republican National Committeeman Dr. Buddy Witherspoon was also on hand to show support for the state’s “First in the South” Primary and said, “We will work vigorously on the national level to insure that South Carolina maintains its preeminent Presidential Primary status.”

The date of the state’s Republican Presidential Primary is set by the South Carolina Republican Party.

Dawson said that it is not the intent of South Carolina to threaten or interfere in any way with the New Hampshire Primary or the Iowa Caucuses. “Our Task Force will work diligently to ensure South Carolina’s Primary remains ‘First in the South’ and whatever it takes to accomplish that, we will do,” said Dawson.

The South Carolina Presidential Primary Task Force members include:

Mr. Katon Dawson, Chairman of the SCGOP

Mr. Glenn McCall, 2nd Vice Chairman of the SCGOP

Dr. Buddy Witherspoon, RNC National Committeeman for S.C.

Mrs. Cindy Costa, RNC National Committeewoman for S.C.

The Honorable Harvey Peeler, Majority Leader of the S.C. State Senate

The Honorable Bobby Harrell, Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives

Mr. Scott Malyerck, Executive Director of the SCGOP, former ED of the NHGOP

Mrs. LaDonna Ryggs, President of the S.C. Federation of Republican Women

Drew McKissick, Chairman of the SCGOP Rules Committee

Mr. Tony Denny, former SCGOP Executive Director

Mr. Bob McAlister, President of McAlister Communications

Mr. Hank Scott, CEO Collum’s Lumber Products, LLC

Mr. Bill H. Stern, President Stern & Stern and Associates


The South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary began in 1980. No candidate has ever lost the primary and gone on to win the Party’s nomination for president.

Year         Winner                   Percentage                   2nd Place

1980         Ronald Reagan          55%                         John Connally

1984         uncontested

1988         George Bush              49%                        Bob Dole

1992         George Bush              67%                        Pat Buchanan

1996         Bob Dole                    45%                        Pat Buchanan

2000         George W. Bush         53%                        John McCain

2004         uncontested