New Hampshire Democrats are urging President Biden not to switch up the party’s primary calendar, saying proposed changes will “wreak havoc” in the state.
Two former U.S. lawmakers, a former governor and more than a dozen other New Hampshire Democrats are among the signatories of a letter, first reported by Politico, emailed to the White House that argues shifting New Hampshire out of its slot as the first-in-the-nation primary would put party members on the ballot next year in jeopardy.
“While we share your desire to elevate more diverse voices in the process, we believe that the proposed schedule could wreak havoc on Democrats up and down the ticket in New Hampshire and unnecessarily jeopardize four critical electoral votes in your re-election campaign,” reads the letter, dated Tuesday.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted last month to make South Carolina the first state to cast ballots in the primary lineup, kicking New Hampshire out of its early slot and removing Iowa as the first caucus state.
The plan, backed by Biden, is intended to increase diversity in the presidential nominating system by putting more diverse states earlier on the schedule.
The state’s Democratic Party chairman, Ray Buckley, has said it would be difficult for the state to actually conform to the DNC plans regardless since the Democrats’ request to change the primary schedule would go before New Hampshire’s Republican governor and majority GOP statehouse.
The letter says the plan puts New Hampshire Democrats in a “no-win position” and makes the party vulnerable to Republican power in the state.
“New Hampshire Republicans have begun to use this move to attack New Hampshire Democrats- an attack that they are already capitalizing on in the 2024 election cycle, when everything from the state legislature and governorship to the two battleground Congressional seats and presidency will be at stake,” the letter reads, adding to Biden that “we are especially concerned about how this will impact your re-election.”
The state Democrats argue that the change could allow Republicans to “out-organize” Democrats in the state and could mean Biden loses the first primary held in 2024, creating “an unnecessary distraction” from the president’s reelection campaign. Biden has not yet officially declared his candidacy for 2024.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D), former U.S. Reps. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court John Broderick Jr., and former U.S. Ambassador Edward Shumaker III are among the signatories of the letter.