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The Boston Globe


New Hampshire celebrates 100 years of primaries

State honors its unique tradition

CONCORD, N.H. — The cake for the 100th birthday was big and green and covered by a frosting map of the Granite State. The relics spread around the room seemed to have been conjured up by someone trying to evoke a flinty, old-time version of New Hampshire: a straw hat with a black band; plain, wire-rimmed spectacles; a Grange certificate; and a roll-top desk, sturdy and devoid of unnecessary scrollwork.

They were artifacts from the life of Stephen A. Bullock, the lawmaker who filed the bill 100 years ago Tuesday establishing the state’s presidential primary. Bullock set in motion a phenomenon that would put New Hampshire on the political map and define it for residents and outsiders, to candidates ­vying for attention, political scribes writing odes to the primary’s purity, and to the larger, flashier, more centrally located states coveting what New Hampshire has.

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