The White House, CC BY 3.0 US , via Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he wants to have South Carolina be the first primary state for the Democratic Party in 2024 in an effort to bolster diversity. If the move comes to fruition, it would end Iowa’s opening part of the presidential nominations process and reduce New Hampshire’s role.

“We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window,” Biden wrote in a letter to the Democratic National Committee.’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. “Black voters in particular have been the backbone of the Democratic Party but have been pushed to the back of the early primary process.”

According to The New York Times, South Carolina helped save Biden’s candidacy two years ago during the Democratic primaries after coming in fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, both of which have a higher percentage of white voters. 

“Our party should no longer allow caucuses as part of our nominating process,” he continued. Iowa is a caucus state and does not hold a primary election. 

Biden plans to make South Carolina the first primary, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Michigan. 

In other headlines:

Clyburn elected as House assistant leader for Democrats. Democratic U.S. House members have voted to keep U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., as assistant House leader. The announcement comes a day after the historical appointment of U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., as the first Black House leader.

Johns Island fire intentionally set, officials say. Charleston County has confirmed the massive fire that engulfed an apartment construction site on Johns Island was intentionally set. Officials say the property owner has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s).

Charleston Co. moves forward with affordable housing plan. Charleston County is moving forward with converting a six-acre property on the Charleston peninsula into a mix of affordable and market-rate housing.

Governor’s office receives Berkeley Co. education petition. Over 2,500 people signed a petition in Berkeley Co. over the school board’s swift replacement of its superintendent. The petition asks the governor to appoint an inspector general to look into the legality of the board’s actions.

New Alzheimer’s drug show steady progress at studies continue in Lowcountry. Results from a much-heralded clinical trial in S.C. show that patients on the drug lecanemab saw a slower decline in cognitive abilities. The drug is used in those who are at high risk of Alzheimer’s but have not experienced memory loss.  Meanwhile, researchers also want to study if the drug can prevent memory loss. 

Broadcast TV studio planned for downtown Charleston. Crisis communications lawyer Josh Nass purchased a four-story building on 61 Broad St. and plans to incorporate a remote broadcast studio that can be used to film interviews, commercials, commentary and more.

High level of flu activities in S.C. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reports 9% of patients who received care in the hospital had flu-like symptoms, which is above the staline average of 3.6%.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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