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Brewer keeps presidential primary on Feb. 28

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Brewer keeps presidential primary on Feb. 28

  • Brewer in February, 2011.
    Alyson Zepeda/Cronkite News ServiceBrewer in February, 2011.

Saying she's satisfied that a scheduled GOP debate will push Arizona issues to the forefront, Gov. Jan Brewer announced the state's presidential primary will remain on Feb. 28.

"It has always been a priority of mine to ensure that Arizona and its voters play an influential role in the nomination process," she said in a press release.

"Arizona will be a player in determining our nation's next president," she said.

Brewer had mulled moving up Arizona's primary, to gain leverage for Arizona issues in the nomination process. While the election is set by default for the 4th Tuesday in February, it can be scheduled for an earlier date by the governor.

The governor had mooted holding the primary on Jan. 31, but rejected that move earlier this month, after the Republican National Committee "preliminarily" awarded Arizona an official GOP presidential debate.

The state's GOP is already so early that, under party rules, the state could lose half of its delegates to the national convention.

Holding the primary as scheduled avoids a possible election-date scramble. Other states, including early-birds Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, had threatened to move their primaries to even earlier dates if Arizona made the change.

"Over the next 14 months,  the candidates would be wise to meet with our voters and become familiar with our issues. Many of these issues – whether illegal immigration, the housing crisis or Medicaid reform – have national implications," she said.

"Arizona voters will be hearing from the presidential candidates in the months ahead. Now, it is the obligation of voters to make certain that they are educated on the issues when it comes time to make their voices heard," Brewer said.

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