COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Petition candidates have a real shot at knocking off several incumbent South Carolina legislators next month.
Those candidates had to earn their spot on the ballot by collecting signatures from at least 5 percent of a district's registered voters. Now, it's guaranteed that such candidates will win four open House seats that feature no one listed with a political party. A fifth open House race pits a petition candidate against a Libertarian.
It's a scenario that would've been unbelievable before two state Supreme Court rulings booted nearly 250 candidates statewide from June primaries. Seventy were tossed from legislative races. The ballot chaos over what many considered a paperwork technicality angered voters and left decertified candidates with only one way to get on November ballots.
The last time a petition candidate won state office was 1990.