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United Citizens Party Nominates Barack Obama for President

Published on April 11, 2008, by in General.

The United Citizens Party of South Carolina held a convention on March 29 and nominated Barack Obama for president. South Carolina permits fusion. The last time a presidential candidate was the nominee of two parties in South Carolina was 1996, when Ross Perot was the nominee of both the Reform Party (which yielded 27,464 votes) and the Patriot Party (36,913 votes).

However, in order for the fusion to work this year between the Democratic and the United Citizens Parties, the two parties will need to agree on a common slate of candidates for presidential elector.

Of course, there is no certainty that Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee. Presumably if he is not, he will decline the presidential nomination of the United Citizens Party. The Democratic and United Citizens Party did jointly run George McGovern for president in South Carolina in 1972.

The United Citizens Party was formed in 1970, mostly by African-American activists. It has been continuously ballot-qualified since 1972, even though there were many years when it did not actually appear on the ballot. Back then, a party that had qualified in South Carolina was qualified for life, even if it went years and years without running any nominees. The United Citizens Party nominated Walt Brown for president in 2004; he was also the Socialist Party presidential nominee. Thanks to Gregg Jocoy for this news.

6 Responses

  1. Incidentally the chairman of the ballot-qualified Independence Party, who is a city councilman in Greer, recently endorsed Obama. The party itself has yet to make an endorsement, but backed Nader in 2004.

    If I’m not mistaken, the UCP nominated Lenora Fulani in 1988. I believe it was known as the Patriot Party for a time in the 1990′s, and so also co-nominated Perot, at least in 1996. In 2000, the party nominated Nader for president. At that time there was no Green Party affiliate in SC, and some Greens worked in the UCP.

    There are many small progressive parties with ballot access in SC:

    United Citizens Party
    Green Party
    Labor Party
    Working Families Party

    SC is the only state in which the LP has ballot access, though they’ve never used it. I think the WFP cross-endorsed some Democratic congressional candidates challenging safe Republican seats in 2006. Its strange that a state with such a small progressive movement and the second lowest unionization ratein the US should have 4 progressive parties and two labor parties.

    Anyone know why this is the case?

  2. Richard

    The Labor Party says it won’t run any candidates in South Carolina this year, but that it will in 2010.

    A party needs 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot in South Carolina, but once it does that, it can stay on as long as it runs at least one candidate every 4 years. That is one magnet for parties to qualify in South Carolina.

    Another magnet, is that South Carolina permits unrestricted fusion. That is why the Working Families Party qualified there.

  3. Tom Yager

    I’m guessing that Obama will get the WFP nod. If Labor won’t run candidates, and the Greens will nominate their own, will Nader be able to find a ballot line or will he have to petition his way on?

  4. Looks like Nader/Gonzalez will have to start from scratch and find its own ballot line in SC.

  5. Obama Chris

    I think all states should allow fusion.

  6. Brad Smith

    My mentor and former UCP co-chair Mike Avey, I feel, wuld be most unhappy with the UCP on this. I mean, Barak Obama, seriously! It is as bad as McCain, what happened to the UCP. 2000-Nader 2004-Brown 2008-Obama? From socialist to Democrat! That is fucked up where are Brett and Anna, are you guys in on this!

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