May 23, 2018
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Iowa first

By Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, Special to the BDN

Handed several lemons, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn is doing his best to make lemonade.

The lemons were decisions by other states to move caucuses and primaries up on the presidential nomination calendar. Lemonade would be keeping the Iowa caucuses in January and keeping our state first in the process.

It’s unclear if Strawn can achieve both of those goals, but we give him credit for the strong, proactive approach he’s taking. Along the way, he’s standing up not only for Iowa, but for the integrity of the process.

Recently, Strawn said the Iowa Caucuses would be held on Jan. 3, but the final calendar remains fluid because traditional No. 2 New Hampshire hasn’t settled on a date for its primary. By state law, New Hampshire must hold its primary at least seven days before the next contest. As of last week, the next contest is the Nevada Caucuses, on Jan. 14. It’s possible New Hampshire will choose a date ahead of Jan. 3, which then will leave Iowa with the decision of whether to change its date again in order to stay first or settle for second.

Clearly, the best scenario for Iowa is to remain first, so we hope efforts within the party and between states for Nevada to move its caucuses to Jan. 17 and New Hampshire to then schedule its primary for Jan. 10 bear fruit. In fact, with a little more cooperation between everyone involved, we can conceive of an attractive, workable calendar along these lines: Iowa, Jan. 3; New Hampshire , Jan. 10; Nevada, Jan. 17; South Carolina, Jan. 24; Florida, Jan. 31.

When Strawn calls Florida “Public Enemy No. 1,” he’s absolutely correct. Florida’s decision (in violation of national party rules) to move up its primary created this mess, and we commend Strawn for his efforts to ensure the national party holds the state accountable for its violation of calendar rules.

Sioux City (Iowa) Journal

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