Tom Ervin Submits Petitions to be First Independent Gubernatorial Candidate in South Carolina History

On June 9, Tom Ervin, a former Republican state legislator, submitted over 20,000 signatures to qualify as an independent candidate for Governor of South Carolina. The state requires 10,000 signatures. Assuming the petition is approved, Ervin will be the first independent gubernatorial candidate to appear on a South Carolina government-printed ballot.

South Carolina did not use government-printed ballots until 1950, far later than any other state. Other states that have never had an independent candidate for Governor are Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, and North Carolina. Delaware, Michigan, and New Mexico did not permit independent candidates for any office until 1976, when Eugene McCarthy sued all three and won all those lawsuits, and forced the state to implement procedures for independent candidates.

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