• Paul Steinhauser

Dates set for presidential candidates to file for NH primary

CONCORD, NH – Let the filing begin.

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office announced on Wednesday that the filing period for the presidential candidates to have their names listed on the first-in-the-nation primary ballot will kick off on Wednesday October 30, one day before Halloween.

The trekking of the White House hopefuls to the historic State house in downtown Concord is a quadrennial time honored tradition that draws supporters – and some protestors – as well as the eyes of national reporters and even international media.

The filing period will conclude on Friday, November 15. The Secretary of State’s office is open for filing from 8:30am-4:30pm each weekday, with the exception of Veterans Day on November 11, when the office will be closed. The office will stay open until 5pm on the final day of filing.

During their visits, the candidates fill out the needed paperwork and pay a $1,000 filing fee. Candidate unable to afford the filing fee have another option to get their name on the ballot – submitting 10 signatures from each of New Hampshire’s 10 counties. The candidates usually sit down in a back room of the Secretary of State’s office and take reporter questions after filing.

Next year’s contest will be the 100th anniversary of the Granite State holding the first primary in the presidential nominating calendar. In the next month or two, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner will set the date of the primary, to make sure the state stays first.

“We are now heading on the path to setting the official date of the primary,” Gardner wrote on the Secretary of State’s website.In past cycles there’s been plenty of drama around the date of the primary, with Gardner setting the date to ensure that New Hampshire’s contest is held at least seven days before a similar election, as is dictated in state law.

But with no other states apparently attempting to infringe on New Hampshire’s cherished status this time around, it’s expected the primary will be held on February 11, the current date for the contest according the Democratic National Committee’s nominating calendar.

By tradition, Iowa votes first in the nominating calendar. But since their contest - which comes eight days ahead of the New Hampshire primary - is a caucus rather than a primary, there’s no objection by Gardner.

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