WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Nevada Democratic Party announced late Tuesday it would hold its caucus on January 19, ending a debate over whether to petition the national party to move the presidential nominating contest a week earlier.
Jill Derby, chair of the Nevada Democratic Party, said the caucus date "best showcases our state as the first test of the Western vote, the Hispanic vote and the labor vote."
Nevada Democrats had considered asking the Democratic National Committee to approve the earlier caucus date of January 12, if the DNC allowed the South Carolina Democratic Party to move its primary up to January 19.
South Carolina Democrats on Tuesday, however, said they would seek to move their primary to January 26 instead - a date likely to be approved. Their primary is currently slated for January 29, a date also shared by Florida Democrats and Republicans.
Out of concern Florida would overshadow South Carolina's nominating contest, South Carolina Democratic Party members decided to request the new date.
Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed legislation into law to hold the state's primary on January 29, even though it would violate DNC and Republican National Committee rules governing nominating contests.
The DNC allows only a handful of states to hold nominating contests before February 5. The RNC prohibits state parties from holding any nominating contest prior to February 5, and strips at least 50 percent of the delegates from a state that violates the rule.
The DNC has already ruled that none of Florida's delegates will be counted, while the RNC will penalize the Sunshine State by cutting its delegate allotment in half.
In addition, most of the Democratic candidates have pledged not to participate in any state that violates DNC rules including Florida and Michigan, which moved its primary to January 15.
Florida Democrats are fighting the DNC's sanctions.
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- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston