COLUMBIA – South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick said the party has not decided whether to hold the state’s “First in the South” Presidential Primary.
McKissick said “We have complete autonomy and flexibility in either direction. Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest.”
Donald Trump won South Carolina in 2016 on the way to clinching the party nomination.
The party has cancelled the election before. In 2004, when then-president George W. Bush sought re-election the party did not hold the event. That is the most recent time an incumbent Republican president sought re-election.
The chairman of the South Carolina Democratic party, Trav Richardson, released a statement that said “South Carolina Republicans have themselves a pig in a poke. They’re left with an unpopular President who has a dismal job approval rating, and they’re getting nervous. I can’t see how anyone is surprised by this threat to cancel their 2020 primary election when Republicans have become experts at denying people the right to vote.”
State parties schedule and hold primary elections and they’re paid for by the state. That means, if the GOP decides they do not wish to hold a presidential preference primary the event will not happen.
McKissick said the party will make a decision in summer of 2019, in time to submit plans to the national party by September of that year.
“The entire party from the state level to the county parties supports the president,” McKissick said.