Stephen Colbert denied South Carolina ballot

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Friday, November 2, 2007

South Carolina Democrats rejected Stephen Colbert's application to appear on the Primary Ballot, in contrast to his announced intentions to run for president on The Colbert Report, a popular parody show.
Image: Kelly Martin.

The South Carolina Democratic Party denied Stephen Colbert a place on the primary ballot Thursday. “The council really agonized over this because they really like him, they love his show, and everyone thinks it’s wonderful that he cares about us,” said Carol Fowler, the chairwoman of the state’s Democratic Party. The council voted 13-3 to reject Colbert's application. According to their statement, Colbert did not meet two basic requirements: that he be a viable national candidate; and that he actively campaign for the state’s primary.

"It's a distraction," said Waring Howe Jr., one of the executive council member who voted against Colbert, "and takes away from the seriousness of our primary here and takes attention from the serious candidates: Clinton, Edwards, Barack Obama and the rest."

Colbert's Thursday night program centered around his campaign in South Carolina until a Democratic official called mid-show with the news of the council's rejection. "It's your loss Democrats," Colbert said. "I had a lot of good ideas."

Colbert had originally announced his intention to run as both a Republican and Democrat, but only filed for the Democratic. The Republican primary ballot application cost was $35,000, versus $2,500 for the Democratic application. Fowler stated the council will return Colbert's check.