New Hampshire’s presidential primary is set for Feb. 11

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s presidential primary is set for Feb. 11, eight days after Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner made the date official Monday during a statehouse news conference.

On the Democratic side, the campaigns of two candidates in nearby states, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have emphasized New Hampshire’s importance to their campaigns. A third candidate geographically familiar with New Hampshire, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, began a primary effort earlier this month. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are also among the leading Democrats placing an emphasis on New Hampshire.

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In the Republican primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh are attempting longshot campaigns against President Donald Trump.

Gardner has been an ardent defender of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status, even as some now question if the overwhelmingly white state should have such influence as one of the first states to vote in the Democratic nominating process.

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro’s presidential campaign, which has wound down its presence in the state, criticized both New Hampshire and Iowa in a statement earlier this month, saying the states “have had a monopoly on going first, despite a severe lack of diversity that is at odds with how we are winning elections across the country.”