State Rep. Beverly Boswell was defeated in a bitter primary just weeks ago, but members of a new party want to make sure that she and other defeated candidates will be able to try again in November if they choose. Those options could close if the legislature includes what’s called a “sore loser” provision in an election law. State law prevents candidates who lose primaries from running for the same office that same year as write-in candidates. The new proposal would extend the prohibition to defeated candidates running as members of the Green Party or Constitution Party. The Green Party won state recognition this year and the Constitution Party is expected to make it. Members of the Constitution Party delivered petitions to the state elections board Wednesday with enough signatures, they said, to earn official recognition as the state’s fifth party. The Constitution Party would join Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Greens.
A Constitution Party officer also delivered the message that candidates will sue if a new state law prevents primary losers from running again this year.
Kevin Hayes, the Constitution Party vice-chairman, said passing the law for this year amounts to changing the rules after the process has started. “If it goes through, it will be challenged in court,” Hayes said. Legislators could change the proposal so it won’t apply until next year, he said.
One defeated candidate, Greg Holt — a Craven County Republican who lost a county commissioner primary — has asked the Constitution Party to select him as a candidate for fall, party chairman Al Pisano said. The Constitution Party and the Green Party are holding conventions in June. The provision won House committee approval Wednesday over the objection of some committee members.