DES MOINES, Iowa — Back in December, the Iowa Democrats got word from the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws committee that the state had lost its first in the nation status.

The proposed new early window would have South Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia and Michigan. Every other state not selected are required to hold their contest on or after the first Tuesday in March.

In Iowa’s state law, it requires both parties to caucus before the last Tuesday in February and before any other state holds a caucus or primary.

On Wednesday at the Iowa statehouse, a bipartisan group of former lawmakers gathered in the rotunda to call on Iowa Democrats to back state law.

“Iowa is going to be at a crossroads very quickly and that is determining whether the Iowa Democratic party is going to fight to keep Iowa first in the nation, or allow Washington, D.C. to tell us what we can do, when we can do it and how we can do it,” said David Nagle, a former U.S. Congressman and Iowa Democratic party chair.

Iowa Democrats risk losing half of its delegates for the 2024 national convention, but that is something that Nagle said is a small price to pay.

Former Iowa GOP chairs were in attendance, encouraging Iowa Democrats to hold their ground and not give up first in the nation.

“I’ve noticed that Iowa Democrats have started saying ‘We are Iowa Democrats, we are not D.C. Democrats,’ and to me this seems to be a way to show that you’re Iowa Democrats,” said Mike Mahaffey, former Iowa Republican party chairman.

David Oman, the former Iowa Republican party co-chair, was in attendance and threw his support behind the democratic party ignoring the DNC and following state law.

The Iowa Democratic party will be electing a new party chair on Saturday, and the new chair will have to lead the charge if he or she wants to remain first in the nation.