Secretary of State William Gardner, a Democrat, emphasized again Saturday that it will be his office, not Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who picks the state's primary date. "That's going to be based on state law, and it will be a date that honors the tradition," Gardner said after the DNC action. "It appears that he's in the driver's seat taking the Democratic National Committee on a collision course with the New Hampshire tradition."
Gardner, who has said he will decide next year when to schedule his state's primary, also said the plan to punish candidates who campaign in New Hampshire was an affront to a state with a long history of promoting greater participation in the political process.
"It's pretty insulting and disrespectful to the potential candidates and to the people of the state that they're being threatened," said Gardner.