Libertarian Jeremy Walters of Fort Mill, South Carolina is the only partisan candidate on the ballot for State House District 26 due to a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court last May that knocked nearly 200 candidates across the state off the ballot, including the other four Libertarians running for the State House and his Republican opponent Raye Felder.
Felder will appear on the ballot because she re-filed as an independent and collected the required signatures to qualify.
The court’s ruling was based on the candidates’ failure to file an ethics form by the legal deadline in both hardcopy and electronic form. The decision was upheld despite appeals by both Democrats and Republicans who argued that communications from the state about the filing requirement were ambiguous.
“I plan to get rid of old laws that don’t work,” says Walters. “A vote for Jeremy Walters is a vote to end the state income tax, legalize business and protect your property rights.”
Walters initially announced he would run on the Republican ticket. After GOP leadership discouraged him from running, he sought the LP nomination instead which he won unanimously after delivering a passionate speech at the party’s state convention in April.
A businessman and carpenter, Walters became an advocate for child custody rights after the family court system denied him joint custody of his son. He successfully championed and lobbied for a custody bill which has passed in the state senate. His efforts and enthusiasm prompted State Senator John Knotts to call Walters a “pit bull” and the right man for the job.
“This is the Libertarians’ most winnable State House seat in the country,” says Stewart Flood, Chair of the Campaign Coordination Committee for South Carolina’s Libertarian party, although he notes Republican efforts to back their candidate may be significant.
Jeremy Walters is campaigning hard, staking yard signs at the entrance to residential subdivisions, attending homeowners’ association meetings, and going door-to-door. He gave well-received speeches at Libertarian rallies in Charleston and York County.
WRHI news talk and other radio and print media have covered Walters’ campaign. The Fort Mill Times hosted a debate between Walters and Felder on October 24 at the Nation Ford High School where the candidates took questions from a virtual audience, with Facebook and Twitter accounts plugged into the live-stream event.