On Tuesday, independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers will announce a new running mate after his previous pick for lieutenant governor backed out due to a family health problem. Whoever Myers unveils next week, however, it will be Caitlin Collier’s name who appears on the ballot in November. In a possible oversight, South Dakota law doesn’t provide for an independent candidate to replace his or her running mate. “Her name cannot be removed from the ballot,” said Secretary of State Jason Gant. “There is not a law that states how an independent candidate can be replaced.” Lieutenant governor candidates nominated by a political party might be able to be replaced, though Gant said needed to review the law before speaking definitively.
A law provides for any candidate nominated by a political party to withdraw before early August, though it doesn’t mention lieutenant governor — an odd case because it’s elected on a single ticket with the governor. A withdrawn candidate can be replaced by party leaders before a late August deadline. But the section of the law governing independent candidates doesn’t say anything about replacements.
“Some people think independents are a party. They’re not a political party,” Gant said.
That was news to Myers on Thursday. He said employees in Gant’s office told him Collier’s name could “be withdrawn for legitimate or necessary purposes.”
“That’s an interesting development,” Myers said. “If that’s Secretary Gant’s opinion, we’ll move on with that.”
Gant said he had consulted with Attorney General Marty Jackley and is sure there’s nothing allowing an independent candidate for lieutenant governor to be replaced.
Full Article: A new lieutenant for Myers, but law doesn’t allow switch.