Eugene Platt joined the South Carolina Green Party formally earlier this year, and sought the Green Party nomination for South Carolina House of Representatives from District 115. Platt won that nomination at the state convention on May 3rd.
South Carolina Greens were unaware at the time that Platt joined that the party had it’s first elected official in the state. While the party has had ballot status since 2003, and has run an average of half a dozen candidates for offices from Soil and Water Commission to US Senate, none have been elected yet. Platt has served on the James Island Public Service District since 1993.
Platt recently resigned his official position in the Democratic Party and is now the Green Party’s coordinator in the Low Country.
Platt lost the Democratic Party nomination in that party’s primary recently, but his nomination by the Green Party was in no way contingent on his winning the Democratic nomination. He also secured the nomination of the Working Families Party. Staff at the state Board of Elections have issued a statement to the effect that if the South Carolina Green Party submits Platt’s name into nomination for the State House seat, the state will not place his name on the ballot as he lost the Democratic nomination. State Code of Laws 7-11-10 is sited as the grounds for this refusal, but Platt and the South Carolina Green Party are pressing forward with plans for him to be on the November ballot. This writer will appear before the full commission at their next scheduled meeting, June 27th at 4:00 PM in Columbia.
Platt points out that he has won the support of many Republicans and independent voters on James Island, an anchor for the House district, by his consistent and successful efforts at land and environmental protection along the state’s coast. In a three way race for a legislative seat the candidate with a plurality wins election. State law does allow Platt to simultaneously run for reelection to his seat on the James Island Public Service District.
Platt’s son Paul is a Green Party member from San Francisco and is the campaign manager.
South Carolina has nine ballot qualified political parties. The state also allows petition candidates nominated by virtue of securing a certain number of signatures to appear on the ballot and also provides for formal and informal write-in campaigns. It is unclear what position the state might take on those possible routes to election.