Where did those Constitution Party candidates go? Lori Stacey disappears, Curtis Strong unhappy.

After Constitutional Party Candidates Lori Stacey who was running for Congress and Curtis Strong who was running for Governor announced their runs for office, they had a pretty easy job of collecting 250 signatures.

But, apparently that was not as easy as it sounds, as neither is a candidate for office according to the Secretary of State. And according to Ballot Access News, it sounds as if at least one of them is going to court over it:

On March 28, the Secretary of State determined that the party’s gubernatorial nominee, Curtis Strong, only submitted 238 valid signatures of party members and won’t be on the party’s primary ballot. In South Dakota, all ballot-qualified parties nominate by primary for Governor and Congress, although party conventions nominate candidates for lesser statewide offices.

The candidate submitted 262 signatures. He has copies of all the signatures and has checked the registration of each of the signers, and believes all of his signatures are valid. The party only has 441 registered members in South Dakota.


The Constitution Party will do its best to litigate, because if its gubernatorial candidate is kept off the party’s primary ballot, it will lose its qualified status. This problem is very similar to the problem the Ohio Libertarian Party is fighting. As in Ohio, the Constitution Party’s gubernatorial candidate is unopposed, so all he needs is one vote in the party’s primary. South Dakota does not permit write-in voting.

Read that all here.

Of course, under that article, Lori Stacey and Curtis Strong howl to the moon in the comment section.

Speaking of Lori Stacey, there was no indication as to the disposition of her petitions. However her website at http://www.loriforcongress.net is nothing but memory parked at godaddy.com at this point, while Curtis Strong’s remains up and defiant.

10 Replies to “Where did those Constitution Party candidates go? Lori Stacey disappears, Curtis Strong unhappy.”

  1. Exodus

    I don’t’ know any of these people and I’m not going to vote for them but I find it sad that the SOS office removed them from the ballot. Voters should have the right to vote for them if they want to and it looks like they did decent work here.

    Only 441 signatures in the state,

    They should be on the ballot.

  2. Anonymous

    I disagree. If they did not follow the rules they should not be allowed on the ballot.

    You would think with such small numbers in dispute though, the SOS should be able to compare which exact names are in dispute and it should be pretty clear if the names are on the voter rolls or not.

    1. Exodus

      I’d like to know why names were excluded. Obviously if there are only 441 people in the state it would be a very targeted effort. Were they removed for minor reasons or because they weren’t registered members of the constitution party. It seems like they would be so careful that they would not let random people sign. I’d like to know why each signature was rejected.

  3. Exodus

    Because of these past insufficient reasons for removing candidates from ballots I want to know more info on each signature:

    The state’s chief election officer, Secretary of State Jason Gant, had rejected the nominating petition filed by David Mitchell because Mitchell did not list his political party on one line of the document.

    However, Circuit Judge Mark Barnett of Pierre said Mitchell’s nominating petition substantially complied with legal requirements because other lines indicated that Mitchell is running for the House as a Democrat in District 20, which includes Jerauld, Aurora and Davison counties.

    “It’s clearly indicated this is a Democratic petition,” Barnett said.

  4. Question from concerened citizen

    Does the SOS office comb through every candidate or parties signatures until they hit the required number or just accept them based on notary and header unless the signatures are challenged?

    I’ve noticed they have combed through Stephanie Strong and now the constitution signatures without a challenge from anyone to my knowledge.

    But mad times had to challenge Bosworth’s signatures. Right or wrong. And nelson had to challenge Rhoden’s.

    Call me confused but what are they looking for…

  5. Anonymous

    I certainly understand the concern. Gant was just followinig the law, but the law may be unconstitutional as it requires well more than half of the party members to nominate a candidate, compared to a very small percentage of other parties. I hope they win in Court.

  6. Nate

    Not a slam on you PP but this post and the previous one seem totally contradictory. Shouldn’t the “Supremes” treat the Constitution party folks with the same liberal interpretation you say Republicans have enjoyed? I get why Gant is restricted, no argument there.

  7. Curtis Strong

    We are waiting for Secretary of State to put us on the general ballot-we are not a new party, which those rules are Un Constitutional.

    1% South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2006 Steven J Willis would be 41 signatures for Curtis Strong for Governor and Charles Haan for US Congress for Constitution Party of South Dakota http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota_gubernatorial_election,_2006

    12-6-7. Petition composed of several sheets–Number of signers required. A nominating petition may be composed of several sheets, which shall have identical headings printed at the head thereof. The petition for party office or political public office shall be signed by not less than one percent of the voters who cast their vote for that party’s gubernatorial candidate at the last gubernatorial election in the county, part of the county, district, or state electing a candidate to fill the office.

    Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 4; SL 1931, ch 145; SDC 1939, § 16.0210; SL 1939, ch 75; SL 1957, ch 83, § 1; SL 1961, ch 93, § 1; SL 1973, ch 74, § 5; SL 1976, ch 105, § 16.

    12-6-9. Unopposed candidate automatically nominated–Primary not held if no contest. A candidate for nomination to an office, or election to a party office, having no opposing candidate within his party, shall automatically become the nominee of his party or elected party official for said office, and his name shall not be printed on the primary election ballot. If there are no opposing candidates for nomination or election of either state or county candidates in any county, no primary election shall be held in that county, and the candidates shall be automatically nominated or elected.

    Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 8; SDC 1939, § 16.0215; SL 1978, ch 98.

  8. Mark N.

    Curtis, the federal court opinion you linked to no longer applies because that statute was amended since that case was decided. The new statute no longer contains the language that the court relied on to allow the Libertarian Party on the ballot. You’re going to need 250 valid signatures.


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