by Ahra Cho | 11/26/07 2:22am

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced Wednesday night that New Hampshire's primary will take place on Jan. 8, 2008, making it the nation's earliest-ever primary date. The announcement came shortly after Florida and Michigan brought their primary dates forward to January 17 and 29, respectively. The change meant that New Hampshire, which by state law has to hold its primary election first in the nation, and at least a week before any other, could hold its vote no later than Jan. 8. Iowa will hold its nominating caucus -- a different kind of candidate selection procedure -- on Jan. 3, kicking off primary season. With only five days between the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, candidates will have little time to recover should they fare poorly in Iowa, pundits warn.

Two highway patrol officers being sued by the state troo-pers union will not receive any state aid to help defend them, the New Hampshire Sunday News reported Sunday. Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards said the state will not foot the high patrol officers' legal bill but added that the state will look over relevant documents to see if the Department of Safety is affected. The New Hampshire Troopers Association is suing William Carlberg Jr., Scott Bowen, and the New Hampshire Highway Patrol Association for trademark violation regarding a website and the registration of four domain names. The suit alleges that Bowen registered the domain name of their site similarly to the name of the troopers union website in an attempt to cheat the public into sending donations to the highway patrol group instead of the troopers union. The site was created to explain to the public the mission of highway patrol officers, Bowen said. Since he worked on the site on the state's time, the state should pay to represent Carlberg and himself, he added. When the suit was filed last fall in Rockingham County Superior Cour, Carlberg was president of the association and Bowen the creator of its website. The case is scheduled for trial in March 2008.