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SCGOP Pushes For New Filing Requirement

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In our latest story on the South Carolina first congressional district race (yes, the “Mark Sanford election”), we noted that among other developments an avowed socialist had filed for this seat.

As a “Republican …”

What gives?  Well, the candidate – Dmitri Cherny – believes the only way to get elected in South Carolina is to run in the GOP primary.  And guess what: With the exception of the heavily gerrymandered sixth congressional district (and a few dozen heavily gerrymandered state legislative seats), he’s absolutely correct.

Accordingly, the former Democratic congressional nominee – and staunch supporter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders – is following what he believes will be the path of least resistance and running as a “Republican.”

Not surprisingly (or, surprisingly when you consider “Republicans” in the Palmetto State have habitually governed like Democrats) … the SCGOP is pissed.  In fact, the party wants lawmakers to “give political parties the appropriate ability to determine qualifications for certifying candidates to run for their respective party’s nomination, as well as to grant voters the option to join a political party when they register to vote.”

“The single most important thing that political parties can do is nominate candidates for public office, but parties in this state have no legal control over who can file to run for their nomination,” said SCGOP chairman Drew McKissick.  “And this guy openly admits he’s running in our primary to give liberals two chances to keep a Republican from winning in November.  It’s insane.”

Insane … maybe.

But then again we don’t recall the GOP flipping out when a bunch of fiscally liberal Democrats (including Hugh Leatherman and Luke Rankin) switched parties.

Those liberals now control the State Senate … but make no mistake they are no more “Republican” than the Democratic leaders they replaced.

Anyway … McKissick believes this is somehow a liberty issue.

“People have a right to freely associate with each other to advocate what they believe in, which means that we also have the right ‘not’ to associate with someone as well,” he said.

Funny … that’s the same argument we made in response to the religious schism that rocked the Palmetto State a few years back.

“That should include political parties,” McKissick added.  “It’s another reason why we need the option to register by party in this state.  Unfortunately our election laws don’t recognize that, and (that) needs to change.”

Does it though?

We’ve never really gotten too animated over partisan issues.  Because we’re not partisans.  We think the integrity of elections should be protected (ahem), but it shouldn’t be up to the government to dictate who can and cannot run in partisan primaries.  Nor have we ever really thought twice about registration by party.

If voters wish to declare themselves “Republicans” or Democrats … good for them.

Either way, it’s their funeral.

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