WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she's looking to move her state's presidential primary up to Jan. 31, ahead of the expected start of the primary season in February.
"Arizona is at the forefront of advancing solutions to national issues such as illegal immigration and border security, Medicaid spending and the fiscal crisis," Brewer told reporters Thursday. "So it only makes sense that our state be positioned to have its voice heard loud and clear when it comes to the presidential nomination process."
As of now, the Arizona primary is set for Feb. 28 with early voting to start Feb. 2, according to a statement released Friday by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on his blog.
But Brewer said an early election would put the Grand Canyon state on the political map.
"Moving Arizona's presidential preference election into January would ensure that our citizens are major players in the 2012 campaign," the governor said.
State law gives Brewer the authority to unilaterally shift the election date, but Arizona would lose half its delegates as a penalty, according to Republican National Committee rules.
"That's certainly something the governor is weighing," said Matthew Benson, Brewer's director of communications. "Her priority is to make certain the state and its citizens have as large of an impact as possible on the process."
The voting season will likely kick off in February when Iowa and New Hampshire are expected to hold the first caucus and primary, respectively.
If Arizona were to move its primary to an earlier date, as a few other states are also considering, it could throw the Republican primary schedule into disarray.
On its part, the RNC said it's trying to keep the states on target.
"We are currently working with all states and state parties to abide by the rules of the Republican Party to ensure compliance," said Sean Spicer, communications director for the RNC.
– CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston contributed to this report.