New Hampshire Defends Its Primary: Selected Documents on First in the Nation
The Democratic National Committee considered changes to its primary calendar in lengthy process that started following the 2004 campaign and ran through August 2006.  Ultimately the members of DNC voted on Aug. 19, 2006 to add an early caucus in Nevada and an early primary in South Carolina.  Throughout this period New Hampshire waged a spirited effort to protect its first in the nation primary:

NHDP's New Hampshire Presidential Primary Democratic Task Force (Jan. 26, 2005)

Dingell/Levin letter to potential Democratic candidates (Sept. 28, 2005)

Harkin letter to the Commission (Oct. 1, 2005)

Joe Keefe letter to the Commission (Nov. 16, 2005)

New Hampshire compromise proposal, (Nov. 29, 2005 press release, letter)

Gov. John Lynch letter to the Commission (Nov. 30, 2005)

NHDP Chair Kathy Sullivan statements on draft plan (Dec. 8-10, 2005)

Kathy Sullivan statement on DNC R&B Committee vote (June 22, 2006)

Gov. John Lynch statement DNC R&B Committee vote (June 22, 2006)

Gov. John Lynch letter to DNC R&B Committee members (July 20, 2006)

Kathy Sullivan statement on DNC R&B Committee recommended nominating calendar (July 22, 2006)

Gov. John Lynch letter to DNC members (Aug. 14, 2006)

Gov. John Lynch press release on Democratic presidential candidate commitments (Aug. 19, 2006), (letters)

More First in the Nation Documents
-On May 1, 2006 the Union Leader introduced a primary pledge for potential 2008 candidates:

“I recognize the New Hampshire Presidential primary’s historic importance in putting issues, ideas and the candidates themselves directly before the voters and will do all in my power to protect the primary in accordance with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s charge under New Hampshire law.”

-H.B.1125 by NH State Rep. Splaine is designed to strengthen New Hampshire's first in the nation position.  The House passed the bill on Feb. 15, 2006, the Senate on April 6, and Governor Lynch signed it into law on April 27.  Formerly the law stated that, "Declarations of candidacy shall be filed between the first Monday in November and the third Friday in November."  Splaine's legislation adds 13 key words: "or during such other time period as the secretary of state shall announce."  Splaine argues, "My contention for decades has been that we have successfully maintained our lead-off status against any and all challenges through the years because of the unpredictability of the NH Presidential Primary date.  No one knows for sure when our date will be until a short time before it is set."  By granting the Secretary of State increased flexibility Splaine aims to "make it even more difficult for either of the national political parties, or any of the other states, to reduce the importance, relevance, or status of our lead-off position."[press release and testimony]

-New Hampshire Republican State Committee press release (April 5, 2006).
Copyright © 2005, 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action