The state Election Commission had certified only a single petition candidate as of Thursday, but other candidates who lost their places on the ballot because of court rulings are scrambling in advance of the noon Monday deadline for filing.
Probably no one is scrambling harder at this point than Walter Hundley, a Republican running for the Senate seat vacated by Glenn McConnell when he became lieutenant governor. Mr. Hundley is trying to get on the ballot in the November election and began the daunting task of collecting some 3,800 signatures less than two weeks ago.
His partisans have been going door to door seeking signatures of registered voters in the district, and Mr. Hundley plans to keep his West Ashley law office open 24 hours a day until 9 a.m. on Monday for walk-ins who want a contested race in November.
It’s a steep hill to climb in a short period.
Mr. Hundley already is on the ballot for Tuesday’s election to fill out the remainder of the current term. He is opposed by Democrat Paul Tinkler and Green Party candidate Sue Edwards.
But Mr. Hundley’s candidacy has been challenged in that race on the assertion that he failed to file his economic disclosure form as required — the same issue that resulted in nearly 250 candidates being removed from the ballot by S.C. Supreme Court rulings in May and June.
What an ongoing mess for candidates — and for prospective voters.
Mr. Hundley isn’t the only hard-working petition candidate in Charleston. The Rev. Samuel Rivers, who had filed as a Republican candidate for a House seat representing portions of Berkeley and Charleston counties, also has submitted his petition to get on the ballot.
And Democrat Carol Tempel has obtained 2,000 signatures on her petition to run for a Charleston House seat.
In a statement following the completion of Ms. Tempel’s petition drive, her campaign cited the help of volunteers “making phone calls, sending emails, inputting data and walking neighborhoods during sizzling temperatures to gather signatures from registered voters on James Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah and Seabrook.”
A similar experience was cited by House candidate Raye Felder, a Republican, in her effort to get on the ballot in Rock Hill. Her petition already has been certified by election officials. She will face a Libertarian party candidate in November.
She was assisted by 50 volunteers going door to door every weekend since the court ruling in March.
Mr. Hundley’s petition quest has been assisted by 30 college Republicans.
At least 25 candidates statewide have declared their intention of running as petition candidates in November.
Sadly, that’s only about a tenth of those booted off the ballot by the Supreme Court for failing to follow the letter of the law, which requires a paper copy of an economic disclosure form to be filed with the statement of candidacy.
But give credit to anyone who has been willing to take the time and energy to get on the ballot the hard way.
Their efforts deserved to be acknowledged when signatures are sought for their candidacy petitions.