Former Florida Republican State Legislator Will be Independent Party Candidate for Congress Next Year

Ballot Access News:

According to this story, former Florida State Senator Nancy Argenziano will run for Congress in 2012 as the nominee of the Independent Party. Earlier, Argenziano had expressed a desire to be a Democratic Party nominee in 2012, but the new election law passed this year forbids anyone from running in a party primary if that person had been a member of another qualified party during the preceding year. Argenziano left the Republican Party some time ago and registered as a member of the Independent Party, which is ballot-qualified. It appears her intent was to become an independent candidate. But, she is making the best of the situation, and will stick with the Independent Party.

Another part of the article refers to new requirements on small qualified parties, that they organize themselves with a structure similar to the Democratic and Republican Parties. That is also part of the election law passed in 2011. However, the new law does not unambiguously say what the article says it does. And even if the new law is interpreted strictly, it would then be unconstitutional under a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court opinion that says states cannot tell parties how to be organized. That decision, released in 1989, is called San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee v Eu, 489 U.S. 214. Also, in Jenness v Fortson, the U.S. Supreme Court said that it would be unconstitutional for states to treat small parties as though they were the same as the two major parties.

IPR Note from Paulie: I’m classifying this under independents rather than Non-Left/Right Parties because “it appears her intent was to become an independent candidate.” Normally, I would not classify a party which happens to be named “independent” under “independents,” by which we mean candidates without any party.

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