State Secretary Brian Kemp
ATLANTA -- Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday that Georgia will hold its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, March 6.
State lawmakers gave the Kemp the power to set Georgia's primary day. It gave Kemp until Dec. 1 to decide, but the Republican National Party asked states to submit their primary dates by Saturday.
"I want to officially invite the presidential candidates to visit our state and discuss and debate the issues with Georgia voters, just as they have done in the early caucus and primary states for more than a year," Kemp said in a release on Thursday.
Republican National Committee rules forbid any state other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding a primary before March 6. Otherwise, states risk losing convention delegates.
"I want to stress that we have committed in good faith to abiding by the rules set forth by the Republican National Committee so Georgia will not suffer a loss of delegates, and I highly encourage the Republican National Committee to enforce its rules as this process continues," said Kemp.
In a press conference at the State Capitol, Kemp said he wanted to make sure every Georgia vote counted and felt confident the party would stick to their rules. If not, he said there would be "hell to pay in four years."
With the selection of March 6, Georgia joins 14 other states in what is considered "Super Tuesday" -- the date with the selection of the largest number of delegates of the entire primary season. Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Massachusetts and Vermont will hold primaries on that date; while Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, Colorado and Minnesota will all hold Democratic or Republican caucuses on that date.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)