Iowa, N.H. govs to talk about early 2008 voting

CONCORD, N.H. -- The governors Iowa and New Hampshire will meet in Washington on Saturday to discuss concerns about scheduling their early votes in the 2008 presidential race.

The Iowa caucuses traditionally start the nominating process, followed eight days later by the New Hampshire primary. But because of unprecedented front-loading for 2008 and the insistence by national Democrats that Nevada hold caucuses before New Hampshire, some worry that New Hampshire will leap ahead of both states.

State law requires New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to schedule the primary a week before any "similar election," but Gardner has said he won’t decide when to schedule the primary until late this year.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has pledged to keep Iowa in the forefront. He wants to meet with New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch during this weekend’s National Governors Association meeting in Washington, Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said Thursday.

"Governor Lynch is going to make it perfectly clear he’s committed to keeping New Hampshire’s primary first in the nation," Manning said. "Ultimately, it’s Bill Gardner that sets the date of the primary. The governor will support whatever Bill decides."