New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary provides a tremendous boost to the state.  Granite State politicians vigorously defend against any attempts to impinge on first-in-the-nation status; indeed New Hampshire state law (RSA 653:9) requires that the primary be held seven days before any similar event.  In November 1997 New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad announced formation of a joint commission to preserve first-in-the-nation status for the two states.  On December 8, 1998, Gov. Shaheen, joined by former Republican Gov. Hugh Gregg, Secretary of State William Gardner, former Democratic Party Chair Joe Keefe, State Democratic Party Chair Jeff Woodburn and Republican Party Chair Steve Duprey, unveiled the New Hampshire Primary Pledge.  In April 1999 the First in the Nation Primary Commission sent out a letter [below] to candidates who had not committed in writing to the Primary Pledge urging them to "show your full support for the New Hampshire primary."
New Hampshire Primary Pledge

______I pledge

or

______Although I am not currently a candidate for President, I pledge that if I decide to enter the race

I will not campaign or allow declarations of my candidacy to be filed in any state that holds its presidential primary earlier than 7 days following the New Hampshire Primary. 

                                          Name: _______________
                                          Signature:____________
                                          Date:_________________
 


State of New Hampshire
Office of the Governor

Jeanne Shaheen
Governor
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 2, 1999
Contact:
Brian Murphy

NEW HAMPSHIRE FIRST IN THE NATION PRIMARY COMMISSION
CALLS ON CANDIDATES TO SUPPORT NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

CONCORD, NH --The New Hampshire First in the Nation Primary Commission today sent letters to prospective candidates for president who had not yet committed in writing to refrain from campaigning in any state that holds its presidential primary within seven days of the New Hampshire primary.

          "In an age when money and media have come to dominate national politics, the New Hampshire primary still provides candidates with an opportunity for person-to-person retail campaigning," the Commission wrote.  "In New Hampshire, voters have a chance to meet with presidential candidates in diners and living rooms, size them up and engage them in discussion of real issues.  The New Hampshire primary has served the nation well over the years.  We think it's a tradition worth fighting for."

          In December, the Commission called upon all prospective candidates for president to support the New Hampshire Primary by taking the New Hampshire Primary Pledge.  To date, the Commission has received written commitments from Congressman Kasich and Vice President Gore and verbal commitments from Senator McCain, Senator Smith and Bill Bradley.

          The letters, which call upon prospective candidate to commit to the Primary Pledge in writing, were sent to Lamar Alexander, Gary Bauer, Bill Bradley, Patrick Buchanan, Gov. George Bush, Elizabeth Dole, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Bob Smith and Dan Quayle.

          The First in the Nation Primary Commission was appointed by Governor Shaheen to help promote and protect New Hampshire's first in the nation primary.  Its members include former Republican Governor Hugh Gregg, former Democratic Party Chair Joe Keefe and Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

          A sample letter is attached.

###



 

State of New Hampshire
Office of the Governor

Jeanne Shaheen
Governor
 

Mr. Steve Forbes
Americans for Hope, Growth & Opportunity PAC
1400 Route 206 North
Bedminster, NJ  07921
March 31, 1999

Dear Mr. Forbes:

          The New Hampshire First in the Nation Primary Commission recently joined with Governor Shaheen and the Chairs of the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic Parties in calling on all prospective candidates for president to support the New Hampshire primary by pledging not to campaign in any state that holds its presidential primary within seven days of New Hampshire's premier event.  This seven-day window, which is enshrined in New Hampshire state law, is the key to maintaining our first-in-the nation status and the unique opportunity it provides to voters and candidates.

         In an age when money and media have come to dominate national politics, the New Hampshire primary still provides candidates with an opportunity for person-to-person retail campaigning.  In New Hampshire, voters have a chance to meet with presidential candidates in diners and living rooms, size them up and engage them in discussion of real issues.  The New Hampshire primary has served the nation well over the years.  We think it's a tradition worth fighting for.

          We are asking each candidate who agrees to abide by the pledge to sign the attached form, or a letter incorporating the pledge language, and return it to the New Hampshire First in the Nation Primary Commission, care of the Governor's office.  To date, we have received written commitments from Congressman Kasich and Vice President Gore.  We have received verbal commitments from Senator McCain, Senator Smith and Bill Bradley.

         We hope you will take this opportunity to show your full support for the New Hampshire primary.

Sincerely,
 
Hugh Gregg
Former Governor
Joe Keefe
Former Chair of the 
NH Democratic Party
Bill Gardner
Secretary of State

 


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