Image: John Lynch
Jim Cole  /  AP file
Gov. John Lynch, D-N.H., signed a law protecting his state’s primary on Thursday.
updated 4/27/2006 5:44:05 PM ET 2006-04-27T21:44:05

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch on Thursday signed a law designed to protect the state’s first-in-the-nation primary even as Democrats moved ahead on changing the presidential calendar.

The law gives the secretary of state additional flexibility in adjusting the filing period for candidates running for president. The secretary of the state is already directed by state law to set New Hampshire’s primary at least seven days ahead of any similar contest.

National Democrats, concerned about the homogeneity of voters in the early voting states, have announced plans to change the calendar by adding one or two caucuses after the Iowa caucuses but before the New Hampshire primary.

New Hampshire leaders argue that the state is unique in giving unknowns a shot at the presidency while subjecting all candidates to its skepticism.

“You can’t buy it in New Hampshire. You must look ’em straight in the eye,” said Sen. Ted Gatsas.

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