Why Does South Carolina Have So Many Independent Candidates in 2012?

Richard Winger explains the entire story over at Ballot Access News of the thirty six state legislative candidates in South Carolina who are running as Independents. South Carolina has not had more than three such candidates in a single election in the last twenty years.

South Carolina has 36 independent candidates for the legislature on the ballot this year, far more than it has ever had before. This is because of the peculiar circumstances earlier this year that kept over 100 legislative candidates from running in the major party primaries. The excluded candidates were permitted to become independent candidates after they failed to qualify for the primary ballot. Therefore, the vast majority, if not all, of the independents self-identify as Republicans or Democrats.

If anyone knows how many, or which, candidates were fusion-ballot listed by the Working Families Party or United Citizens Party, please leave a comment below.

2 thoughts on “Why Does South Carolina Have So Many Independent Candidates in 2012?

  1. jason

    As far as I know, South Carolina still has a sore-lower law, so if they lost in the primary they couldn’t run on another party’s ticket. I know that’s what happened to Eugene Platt a few years back.

  2. Scott West

    All of the candidates appear on the ballot as “petition”. None of the candidates appear as the candidates of minor parties.

    The sore loser law doesn’t apply here. If a candidate had filed the paperwork in a timely manner for one party, then the candidate would have been on the primary ballot or in the case of the WFP, Green or other convention party, on the November ballot. Candidates only have to submit the paperwork for one party.

    Every candidates filed for one of the major parties only, figuring the would pick up the nomination of the other parties later.

    The cut-off for submitting nominating materials to political parties was April 15. The paperwork problem wasn’t known until May.

    So the State Election Commission would not allow parties to nominate previously rejected candidates based on a lack of paperwork.

    However, state law did allow candidates to qualify on the ballot by petition.

    The WFP did help several candidates get on the ballot as petition candidates. However, they will only appear as on the ballot as “petition”.

    The United Citizens Party is moribund.

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