(CNN) - The Missouri GOP is moving back its nominating contest in the presidential primary and caucus calendar.
Thursday night the Missouri Republican State Committee decided to hold a caucus on March 17. State law had set Missouri's primary on February 7, but that date would have been in violation of Republican National Committee rules which required all states but Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to wait until March 6 to hold their contests, or risk losing sending half their delegates to the party's national nominating convention in Tampa, Florida in August of next year.
States have until Saturday to declare their primary or caucus dates with the RNC. Missouri Republicans blame their state's Democratic governor for forcing the state GOP to make a last minute move.
"The Missouri Republican Party is committed to ensuring that the Governor's veto of the elections bill and the General Assembly's failure to move our presidential primary will not disrupt the national nominating process," said David Cole, Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, in a statement. "A caucus will continue to protect the rights of Missourians to select the Republican nominee for president-and any self-declared Republican who is registered to vote in Missouri has the ability to participate in the caucus process."
Arizona and Michigan are expected to hold their contests on February 28, in violation of RNC rules. Florida Republicans are expected Friday to announce the date of their primary. Missouri's move back to March could affect Florida's decision.