The chairman of South Carolina's Republican Party announced Monday that the state would hold its GOP primary on January 21, leapfrogging the Florida primary and violating Republican National Committee rules.


The move was a direct reaction to Florida's announcement Friday that the state's Republican primary would be held on January 31.

"Last Friday, a nine-person committee brought chaos to the 2012 calendar,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly told CNN. “Today, South Carolina is making things right. South Carolina Republicans have a thirty year track record of picking the eventual Republican presidential nominee. We will continue that historic tradition on January 21, 2012."

Last week, Connelly blasted Florida as a "rogue state" and vowed to remain the first primary in the South.

New Hampshire is traditionally the first primary in the country, while Iowa holds the first caucuses. Both states are expected to announce late December or early January contests to maintain their traditional statuses as early voting state.

Creative Commons image via flickr user hjl.