Wendell Fant Won’t Run as Independent for U.S. House in North Carolina

On June 25, Wendell Fant, the first person in the history of North Carolina government-printed ballots to qualify as an independent candidate for U.S. House, said he will not run.  Therefore, he won’t be on the ballot.  The work and expense of collecting his signatures was borne by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  See this story.  Thanks to Jordan Greene for the link.

UPDATE:  ironically, a Public Policy poll released June 15 showed that Fant’s presence on the November ballot helps the Democratic nominee.


Wendell Fant Won’t Run as Independent for U.S. House in North Carolina — 8 Comments

  1. This was a LOT of work to just “send a message”. I’ll bet some folks are really pissed!

  2. I’m mad and I don’t even live in North Carolina. The closest experience I felt is when they gave up on the paid sick days initiative in Ohio in 2008.

  3. If anybody’s pissed, it’s the Republicans whose chances of knocking off Kissell this year just suffered another setback. Wendell Fant is a hero for not going along with the woefully misconceived plans hatched by SEIU and their NC affiliate to use him in a cynical attempt to peel Af-Am votes away from Kissell. In the process, he also would have thrown his own future political career in the toilet.

    SEANC’s ineffective, hair-trigger tempered leader, Dana Cope, must have a personal grudge against Kissell for the amount of energy and $ he’s thrown into this pointless battle. Resources that should have gone towards fighting for better salaries and treatment for hard-working state employees. Maybe this episode will be a factor in SEANC members finally wising up and replacing him with someone who gets better results for the group’s members.

  4. But a recent poll of voters in that North Carolina district shows that Kissell does better when Fant is on the ballot.

  5. Richard, don’t try to explain facts…TarHeelDem’s mind is already made up. It’s *their* sand box, and we’re not allowed to play in it.

  6. After news of Fant’s decision not to run, the same polling company’s director estimated that Kissell would gain 3-4 points in the fall without Fant on the ballot.

    The original poll reflected the fact that most voters in the 8th district had never heard of Wendell Fant, so to some extent he was a blank slate. If he had decided to run, as a black candidate he would have drawn more Af-Am voters from Kissell than Johnson. Unless black voters have suddenly switched their voting preference en masse to the Republican Party and didn’t tell anybody. As a union-backed candidate, he would have peeled off a few liberals of all colors unhappy with Kissell.

    And while I fully believe the two-party system is anti-democratic, I’m also a realist. First-past-the-post elections for the House & Senate are enshrined in the Constitution, and the likelihood of a constituional amendment passing to change that is close to nil. But if you really believe in proportional representation, you should be organizing around that constitutional amendment. Before the voting system, any third-party electoral organizing only serves to throw elections to one of the two major parties or the other.

    And besides, what’s the ultimate goal for someone interested in third-party politics to begin with? If you’re unhappy with the direction of the Dem party, work towards taking it over. Run candidates to your liking in Democratic primaries. It’s what far-right wingers have successfully been doing to the Republican Party for the past few decades.

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