Alabama held its Democratic primary on June 6. The Democratic primary race for Secretary of State was between incumbent Nancy Worley, and Ed Packard, who has been head of the Elections Division within that office. Packard has been sympathetic to minor parties and independent candidates, whereas Worley has been uninterested. Worley won the primary by a ratio of approximately 3 to 1.
It is somewhat plausible that Alabama will be the only state in the US in November 2006 with a Democratic-Republican monopoly on the ballot for statewide office. Alabama is the only state with a petition requirement for Governor (for the easier of the minor party or independent routes to the ballot) in excess of 2% of the last vote cast. Alabama’s requirement is 3% of the last vote cast.
Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld today announced that he is dropping out of the New York Republican primary race for Governor, “in the name of party unity.”
A Weld media staff member told Ballot Access News (on condition of anonymity) that Weld would also be dropping out as the Libertarian Party nominee.
Weld had been nominated by the New York State Libertarian Party as its candidate for Governor. At their state convention, Weld had promised LP members that he would continue to run as their party’s nominee regardless of his status on the Republican ticket.
On June 6, the Louisiana House Governmental Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 18, by a vote of 6-1. This is the bill to provide for closed primaries for congressional elections. It has already passed the Senate. It provides for primaries for all qualified parties. Louisiana has 5 qualified parties: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green and Reform. The bill would provide that if a party has no contested primaries, then that party’s primary would not be held, and the single individual who filed, would be deemed nominated.
On June 5, the US Supreme Court refused to hear Lawrence v Blackwell, 05-1089, the case challenging the March 1 petition deadline for independent candidates for Congress in Ohio.
The Supreme Court thus continues its pattern of hostility to minor party and independent candidates. Since 1992, every time a minor party or independent candidate wins in a US Court of Appeals and the state appeals to the US Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court grants the state’s appeal and reverses. This has happened 3 times since 1992, in cases from Arkansas (debates), Minnesota (fusion), and Oklahoma (political party control over who votes in its primary).
But whenever a minor party or independent candidate loses in a US Court of Appeals, and asks for US Supreme Court review, the Court says “No”. Since 1992, this has happened in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
On June 3, the Working Families Party of New York cross-endorsed the Democrats running for U.S. Senator and Governor. For U.S. Senate, Jonathan Tasini, who is critical of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton’s stance on the Iraq war, had hoped to get at least 25% of the vote, so that he could qualify automatically for the party’s primary ballot. However, he only got 6%.
The Indiana Democratic Party held its state convention on June 3, but failed to nominate anyone for U.S. Senate. No one had run in the party’s primary for that post last month. Since the nomination is vacant, the party could have nominated someone at the convention, but chose not to do so. An independent candidate, Rick Hale, will try to get on the ballot. If he fails, the only nominees on the November ballot will be the Republican and the Libertarian.