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New Centrist Party, Using Name “American Party”, Qualifies for South Carolina Ballot

On January 30, the South Carolina State Election Commission determined that the petition submitted by the American Party has enough valid signatures. The American Party was founded a year ago by Jim Rex, a former Democratic elected Education Superintendent, and Dr. Oscar Lovelace, who had run for Governor in the Republican primary in 2006. In a two-person race against Mark Sanford, Lovelace had polled 35.2%. The new party held a press conference at the State Capitol on January 31 to announce the news.

The party was originally called the Free Citizens Party. It wants to concentrate on local races this year, and its founders will now tour the state, seeking to recruit good candidates. The party says it wants to expand across the nation in 2016.

This is the first party to successfully petition in South Carolina since 2012, when Americans Elect qualified. It never ran any candidates, but is still on the ballot. It will be removed from the ballot if it fails to run any candidates in 2014.

The American Party submitted 16,000 valid signatures in order to qualify, and gathered signatures in each of the 46 counties. Thanks to Andy for the news.

2 Responses

  1. South Carolina had an American Party in the 1980s, founded by a dissident member of The Libertarian Party who was anti-abortion.

    In 1968, George Wallace, nominee of The American Party nationally, was on the ballot in S.C. as the nominee of The Independent Party. In 1972 The Independent Party put John Schmitz on the ballot. So the group in the 1980s was the first American Party in South Carolina.

    The new American Party is clearly distinct from previous efforts in various states to form a party with that name.

  2. Richard Winger

    Thank you, Gene. Actually the earlier American Party in South Carolina got on the ballot in 1974. It ran five candidates for the South Carolina legislature that year. In 1976 it ran Thomas J. Anderson for president. The South Carolina Independent Party’s presidential nominee in 1976 was former Governor Lester Maddox. The impetus for the 1974 American Party petition in South Carolina was the national split after the 1972 election between the forces of William Shearer of California and the forces of Thomas J. Anderson. The Anderson forces couldn’t get control of the South Carolina Independent Party so they did their own petition for their American Party.

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