The Buzz

S.C. GOP presidential primary set for Feb. 20

The 2016 S.C. Republican presidential primary likely will be held Feb. 20, state GOP chairman Matt Moore said Tuesday.

The only televised debate among GOP White House hopefuls in South Carolina is slated for Feb. 13, he said.

Four cities are under consideration to host the debate — Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Myrtle Beach, Moore said. Republicans held four televised debates in South Carolina during the 2012 presidential primary cycle.

The expected primary schedule gives South Carolina, the first state in the South to hold a presidential primary, time in the campaign spotlight. Republican candidates would have 11 days to campaign in South Carolina after votes are cast in New Hampshire Feb. 9 . Most primaries will be separated by seven days or less.

The GOP primary schedule will be formalized in about about two weeks, Moore said.

The Democratic primary is scheduled for Feb. 27, state party chairman Jaime Harrison said.

GOP primaries

Tentative 2016 Republican presidential primary schedule, according to S.C. GOP chairman Matt Moore

Feb. 1: Iowa

Feb. 9: New Hampshire

Feb. 20: South Carolina

Feb. 23: Nevada

March 1: Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee (more states expected)

March 15: Florida