Kansas’s and South Carolina’s Republican Party on Saturday voted to cancel their GOP primaries in 2020 ahead of the presidential race.
«With no legitimate primary challenger and President Trump‘s record of results, the decision was made to save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million and forgo an unnecessary primary,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. «President Trump and his administration have delivered for South Carolinians, and we look forward to ensuring that Republican candidates up and down the ballot are elected in 2020.»
The Kansas GOP tweeted Friday that it will not organize a caucus because “President Trump is an elected incumbent from the Republican Party.”
— Kansas GOP (@KansasGOP) September 6, 2019
Nevada and Arizona Republicans are also reportedly slated to cancel their primaries and caucuses in a move that would exemplify Trump’s control over the GOP at the state level. State party officials in Kansas and Nevada, according to the Trump campaign, suggested they were taking this course of action to save costs and use the money for other races.
Trump is joined by two long-shot primary challenges from former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld for the Republican presidential nomination.
Walsh has said his long-shot campaign intends to “fight South Carolina and any other state that considers doing this” and contrasted it with his frequent complaints that the 2016 Democratic nomination process was rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
“Well, look what he’s doing now. You talk about rigging a system,” Walsh told CNN.
Trump’s re-election campaign has worked to monitor the delegate selection process ahead of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the goal of making it an “infomercial” for the Trump presidency free of anti-Trump voices, according to the AP.
South Carolina has cancelled its nominating contest in favor of a Republican incumbent in several other cases, including Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George W. Bush in 2004, according to the AP, while Palmetto State Democrats did not hold contests ahead of Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996 or Barack Obama’s in 2012.