NEW YORK — New Hampshire will hold its presidential primary elections on January 10, maintaining its first-in-the-nation primary status, state officials said Wednesday.

Part of the first round of voting that will see Iowa hold its caucuses a week earlier on January 3, the primaries will help select the Republican party's nominee to challenge President Barack Obama's reelection campaign.

"It is my honor and privilege to say this morning the tradition of the New Hampshire primary lives on," New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said.

Gardner noted that the winner of the primaries in this small northeastern state of 1.3 million has historically gone on to become president, apart from three exceptions.

His announcement came after a scramble between a handful of states when key battleground state Florida broke Republican Party rules by moving its primary up to January 31.

The move prompted South Carolina Republicans to move up their primary date to January 21 and Nevada to initially decide to hold its vote on the 14th.

New Hampshire then threatened it would have to shift its vote to December due to a state law requiring seven days to pass between its contest and similar elections.

But Nevada eventually capitulated to Gardner and announced it would hold its caucuses on February 4, allowing New Hampshire to keep its primary in January.