DES MOINES — GOP leaders in South Carolina, Nevada and Kansas are cancelling presidential nominating contests in their states, but the Republican Party of Iowa will be holding Caucuses on February 3rd. Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann says party leaders here have “never considered” cancelling.

“We want to show once again that Iowa is capable of doing this,” Kaufmann told Radio Iowa this weekend. “We can do it in a transparent way. We can get the results back. Those results can be audited.”

Kaufmann said it’s about protecting the party-run Caucuses as the first voting event in the presidential selection process.

“I want to keep Iowa front and center and anytime anybody in the RNC or, as far as that goes, in the country thinks of Iowa, I want them to think of a Caucus,” Kaufmann said, “and we’re going to make ’em think about it again in 2020.”

Kaufmann suggested cancelling might give ammunition to critics of the Iowa Caucuses.

“We’re going to run this caucus as if our state livelihood depended on it,” Kaufmann said.

Kaufmann does not expect next year’s caucuses to be competitive — meaning there’s little chance Republicans challenging President Trump will gain traction here. Three Republicans have said they plan to run against Trump. Two of them — former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford — made trips to Iowa in August.