South Carolina Lawsuit Presents Possibility for Libertarian to Serve in State Senate

Alesandra Thornton

Stewart Flood posted this link about an interesting development in South Carolina. Posted to The Nerve
October 21, 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Kimpson’s Election as State Senator
By Rick Brundrett

A state law at the center of a controversial court ruling that kicked about 250 candidates statewide off last year’s primary ballot is once again the basis of a legal challenge – this time the special election this month to fill the Senate seat formerly held by Robert Ford.

A lawsuit filed on Sept. 26 contends that Democrat Marlon Kimpson, who won the Oct. 1 special election for the Charleston-area seat with nearly 80 percent of the vote, and Republican challenger Billy Shuman Jr. violated a state law by listing the year “2013” on their required income-disclosure form, known as a statement of economic interests (SEI), instead of “2012.”

(The state’s income-disclosure law applies to government, not private, income sources, as The Nerve has repeatedly pointed out. The South Carolina Policy Council – The Nerve’s parent organization – in April launched “Project Conflict Watch” to persuade officials to voluntarily disclose their private income sources.)

The other declared challenger in the Oct. 1 special election, Alexandra Thornton, a Libertarian who garnered just 1.2 percent of the vote, correctly filled out the SEI and should be declared the winner if the lawsuit is successful, according to Jeremy Walters, a Fort Mill carpenter and the York County Libertarian Party chairman, who filed the suit without an attorney.

The rest of the article is here .

Election results can be read at the link below.
Our Campaigns – SC State Senate 42 – Special Election Race – Oct 01, 2013

22 thoughts on “South Carolina Lawsuit Presents Possibility for Libertarian to Serve in State Senate

  1. Andy

    This is another reason why minor party and independent candidates should run for office. Sometimes you might luck out and have a legitimate chance of winning.

  2. Stewart Flood

    Can’t agree more. We knew about this problem — and reported it to the newspapers — the day filing ended. The democrats and republicans had ample opportunity to address the issue. The democrats could have removed the half-dozen or so candidates who failed to file correctly, which would have left them with one candidate in their primary. The republicans only had one candidate, so they’d have been left with no one.

    But they ignored us. The response from the democratic party’s chairman was that I was crazy and I was wrong about the law. Whether you agree with him that I’m crazy (a subjective opinion), I am not wrong about the law. Neither is Jeremy Walters, who had the same opinion that the rest of the party’s county and state committees had. He filed the suit.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’ll try to keep an eye on this, Stewart, and I do remember reading about it. Since you’re there, though, you’ll probably hear info sooner, so keep us posted, please.

    I did google it, though, and was surprised at how little info there was about it. In fact, there wasn’t a lot about the special election that I could find.

  4. paulie

    It would be really funny if we get a legislator who got 1.2% of the vote. I think it would make the national news, or at least the Daily Show and Colbert.

  5. George Whitfield

    I am glad I donated to her campaign. If you don’t have a candidate running you can’t win. If you do, there is a chance they may win.

  6. paulie

    Yep. And this is why the people who say we should not run paper candidates are wrong. Not that she was a paper candidate, but you never know where unexpected opportunities may come up and you have to be in the race to take advantage of them.

  7. Matt Cholko

    I’m all for getting a Libertarian into the SC Senate. However, do we really want to go filing lawsuits when other candidates make mistakes on their paperwork? We cry bloody murder when the Ds or Rs get an L thrown off the ballot for a simple mistake. I don’t see where there was intent to deceive anyone here, so I don’t like the idea of going after them on technicalities.

  8. paulie

    Come to think of it, when they slam us for getting them on a paperwork technicality, that will present a great opportunity to educate everyone about how they do it to us all the time, which most people don’t even know about.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    This seems like a fairly significant error. It’s odd that 2 people would do it wrong.

  10. Stewart Flood

    No, nearly a dozen of them filed it wrong. There were quite a few democrats in the primary.

  11. Andy

    Paul said: “Yep. And this is why the people who say we should not run paper candidates are wrong. Not that she was a paper candidate, but you never know where unexpected opportunities may come up and you have to be in the race to take advantage of them.”

    I say run paper candidates if it is fairly easy for them to get ballot access, or if they can be piggybacked with candidates who are running more active campaigns, but it is going to cost a lot of money to run a paper candidate, this is when you may want to consider forgetting it (unless maybe there is a really low vote retention test to retain ballot access that even a paper candidate would have a decent shot at getting).

  12. paulie

    Actually, paper candidates often get as many or more votes as active LP campaigns. The benefits to the LP in running more active campaigns are usually in things other than vote totals. There are a few exceptions.

  13. Andy

    Paul said: “Actually, paper candidates often get as many or more votes as active LP campaigns.”

    It depends on the campaign, obviously.

    It is best to run paper candidates when ballot access is easy, and/or when they can piggyback off of candidates who are running more active campaigns.

  14. Stewart Flood

    When you consider the fact that the Citadel “Republican Club” had an event where candidates addressed the students. Alex was allowed to speak first and was given 20 minutes to comment and respond to questions about reducing government and making the general assembly’s proceedings transparent and open to the public (votes are currently secret on many issues). The other candidates — all Republicans — were given 5 minutes each and were cut-off at exactly their allotted time by the moderator.

    There were several events that all three candidates were invited and she was the only candidate who attended. Yard signs, bumper stickers, radio ads, tv and radio interviews (several of the tv interviews live on the local morning shows)…

    Alex Thornton was not a paper candidate. Getting slightly over one percent in the most rigged house district in the state, where democrats start out with 65% just for putting a name on the ballot? She did very well.

  15. paulie

    As I said ” Not that she was a paper candidate, but you never know where unexpected opportunities may come up and you have to be in the race to take advantage of them.”

  16. Stewart Flood

    I know. That was not directed at anyone specifically. It was posted as background for those not familiar with the campaign.

  17. Stewart Flood

    And since saying that 1% is doing well, I also want to add that the media treated her with respect and treated the party “label” of Libertarian with respect.

    The democrat ignored her. The republican’s county party chair went out of his way to belittle her and her campaign wherever possible. For someone claiming to hold libertarian beliefs (as he has in the past), their chair’s true colors were certainly visible. It is not libertarian “gold” or even any shade libertarian. Social conservative brown [shirt] all the way through to the core.

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