Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday set the state’s primary election for Feb. 28 — declining to move the date into January, which would have upset the entire schedule.
The Feb. 28 date still leaves it scheduled for the same day as South Carolina’s primary, which is supposed to be protected by national Republican Party rules, and could cause some shifting.
But it makes it unlikely that the Iowa caucuses would be moved into 2011 — which some had seen as a possibility if Arizona had moved to the end of January. Party rules call for Iowa’s caucuses to lead the calendar, followed by New Hampshire’s primary, Nevada’s caucuses and then South Carolina’s primary.
Arizona law gives Mrs. Brewer the power to set the date, and she had been toying with moving it up. But in a statement Monday she said the February date still ensures Arizona issues get full treatment by the candidates.
“Arizona will be a player in determining our nation’s next president,” she said. “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.”