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Iowa GOP closer to securing first-in-the-nation status for 2024
National panel recommends no change in calendar
As Iowa Republicans and Democrats conduct their off-year caucuses Monday night, it appears the GOP has moved closer to securing the state’s first-in-the-nation status in 2024.
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann isn’t taking that leadoff position for granted after a weekend meeting of the Republican National Committee, but is encouraged because the RNC panel he leads unanimously backed a report that would secure Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in 2024.
“Our very, very critical first step couldn’t have turned out better,” said Kaufmann, who chairs the RNC’s Presidential Nominating Process Committee.
After reviewing options, the panel’s final report recommended no change for 2024, the next president election year.
“That, de facto, would leave Iowa as first-in-the-nation,” Kaufmann said.
The report will be presented to the Republican National Committee this summer. Kaufmann said he’s hopeful GOP leaders from other states will ratify the plan to have Iowa caucuses first, followed by New Hampshire’s primary and contests in Nevada and South Carolina.
The Democratic National Committee has not changed its 2024 calendar, which is the same as Republicans’. However, members of the DNC have for several years expressed concerns that Iowa is not representative of the party or the country because it is older, whiter and more rural than the party at-large.
Kaufmann expressed confidence that Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn will work to protect the party’s first-in-the-nation status.
After a recent DNC meeting. Wilburn said he “will continue to fight for Iowa to remain first.”
“I also understand that the DNC has their own process that must be followed," Wilburn said. "As chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, I’m committed to working with the DNC and my fellow early state leaders in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to ensure future successful Iowa Democratic caucuses.”
In making the case for Iowa to go first, Kaufmann said it’s important to start in a small state and that the Midwest has a voice in the nomination process.
“If you bring Nevada and South Carolina and New Hampshire and Iowa together, we check all the boxes whether it’s geographic diversity, philosophical diversity, ethnic diversity. If we want to ensure that anyone can be president, the carve-out process and the Iowa caucuses must be protected,” he said.
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