Dec 6, 2022 - Politics

Georgia becomes major roadblock to Biden's 2024 primary calendar plan

Illustration of a brick wall shaped like the state of Georgia.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Georgia is saying not so fast to the Democratic National Committee's plan to move up the state's presidential primary in 2024, Axios has learned.

Driving the news: Georgia law gives the secretary of state sole responsibility to set the state's presidential preference primary date — and the office is pushing back on hosting separate primaries.

  • "Our legal team has continuously stated that both parties' primaries must be on the same day and must not cost anyone any delegates," Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told Axios in a statement.

Catch up quick: Democratic National Committee leaders voted to add Georgia and Michigan to the party's early primary slate late last week, replacing Iowa.

  • We won’t know Dems’ finalized primary calendar until early February when the full DNC will vote on the proposed changes.

The intrigue: The Republican National Committee voted on its calendar last spring. Its rules prohibit any state except Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada from holding a primary before March 1.

  • A state that violates the rules would forfeit Republican delegates.
  • RNC rules don’t allow changes to that schedule until its next convention in the summer of 2024.

The big picture: The other new state added to Democrats' early primary list, Michigan, requires a state law change to change its schedule. That's likely, given Democrats control state government.

  • Democrats have always recognized that moving Georgia into the early primary window would be an uphill battle — but sources familiar with the process say Democratic leaders remain committed to adding the state as a nod to voters of color and the crucial role the state has played for them in recent cycles.
  • "This is a bold window that reflects the values of our party, and it is a window worth fighting for," Minyon Moore, a longtime political operative from Georgia, said at the Dec. 2 Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting.

The bottom line: "Without a push from the Republican side, the path to moving up Georgia's presidential preference primary appears very slim," Fuchs said.

Axios' Alexi McCammond contributed reporting.


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