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NH Secretary Of State: Early Dec. Primary Possible

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s secretary of state says either the first or second Tuesday in December is a realistic option for the state’s presidential primary unless Nevada backs up its caucus to Jan. 17.

Bill Gardner said Wednesday that he won’t squeeze New Hampshire’s primary between Jan. 3 — when Iowa is tentatively set to hold its caucuses — and Nevada’s Jan. 14 date. He says that means Dec. 6 or Dec. 13 are realistic options for New Hampshire, which has a state law requiring the primaries to be held at least seven days before any other similar contest.

Gardner says he’ll do what he has to do to honor New Hampshire’s tradition, because not doing so would mean the permanent loss of an important element of American democracy.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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