The Nevada and South Carolina Democratic parties have announced new delegate selection dates that party officials say will protect the two states' early status in the Democratic presidential nomination calendar.

The following was released from the Nevada State Democratic Party:

"We are pleased to announce that the Nevada and South Carolina Democratic parties will protect our states' place in the presidential nominating calendar by beginning the delegate selection process on January 21st in Nevada and January 28th in South Carolina.

This announcement ensures that the West and Southeast both will continue to play important roles in determining the President of the United States.  Next year, we are pleased to stand firmly behind President Barack Obama as he continues fighting to create good paying jobs,protect Medicare and Social Security and help families struggling to keep a roof over their heads."

Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement in response to the changed dates:

"By working with South Carolina, Nevada Democrats have not only preserved our position in the nomination process but will ensure the West plays a crucial role in selecting our nation's President in future contests. 

The election next year presents a clear choice for Nevada voters between President Obama's commitment to creating jobs and a Republican field more focused on killing Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies and protecting taxpayer giveaways to companies that ship American jobs overseas."