SC superdelegate sticks with O’Malley, keeping options open

COLUMBIA — A prominent South Carolina superdelegate said Tuesday that he may look outside the Democratic party now that his candidate, Martin O’Malley, has dropped out of the presidential race.

Boyd Brown told The Associated Press that he can’t back Bernie Sanders because of his socialist-leaning views. And he says he can’t support Hillary Clinton due to her lack of “core values.”

“It’s pretty frustrating to watch at this point,” Brown said. “You’ve got an FBI investigation going on with one candidate, and she’s running against a socialist.”

O’Malley suspended his campaign after a distant third-place finish in Monday’s Iowa caucus.

Democratic superdelegates can support the candidate of their choice at the party’s summer national convention, regardless of whom voters choose in the primaries and caucuses. Brown, who served two terms in South Carolina’s state House, said that he remains technically committed to supporting O’Malley at the convention but might ultimately explore other political parties altogether.

“I’ll certainly be happy to listen to see if Bloomberg gets in,” Brown said, of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has given himself until March to decide whether to enter the race.

Brown says whatever new candidate he chooses should hold some of O’Malley’s positions, including a willingness to deal with student debt burdens and reform the nation’s infrastructure. Brown also said there are possibly a handful of more moderate Republican candidates in the already announced field whom he could possibly support, declining to give names.

“Who’s going to speak to my generation and our needs? If I feel like a Republican has got the solutions to our problems, then I’ll listen to them,” Brown said.