Four Early GOP Primary States Vow To Stay Ahead Of 'Rogue' Florida

As we and others have reported, when Florida Republican Party officials meet Friday, they are expected to move up the date of their presidential primary to Jan. 31 from March 2012.

All of which has scandalized Republican officials in the states that jealously guard their traditional role as the first four to hold primaries and caucuses — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

GOP officials from those states jointly issued statements Thursday castigating Florida for moving its primary and promising that they will move as one to keep their states' contests ahead of Florida.

In a statement representative of the four party officials, Chad Connelly, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, said:

"Our four states are committed to protecting the integrity of the 2012 nominating process and we refuse to let rogue states dictate the calendar. Elections held just after New Year hurt voters and candidates by short circuiting the nominating process. Republicans deserve the chance to get to know every candidate. We must choose the right person to defeat Barack Obama."

The Orlando Sentinel provides a bit more background on why Florida's GOP officials were willing to risk the opprobrium of their counterparts in other states.

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