Rock Howard on Texas Ballot Access

RockHoward001.jpgTexas Senate District 14 Libertarian Party candidate Rock Howard has now added a blog to his campaign website. His latest entry had some interesting insight on ballot access issues in Texas:

Sadly the Green Party fell short in their efforts to get on the ballot in 2006. As a long time advocate and activist working for improved ballot access in Texas, it pains me whenever anyone makes a serious effort to get on the ballot but then falls short. Here is an interesting story behind the story.

In the last general session the Republican Party killed the bill I had drafted to improve ballot access in Texas by ending the practice of “Primary Screenout” (which is the archaic rule that says that primary voters can’t sign petitions for independents or other political parties trying to get on the ballot.) A few months after the bill (HB 1721) was killed in committee I heard the scuttlebutt that a Republican strategist had decided that the bill would help Kinky Friedman too much. (Strayhorn was not yet running as an independent at that time.)

Killing the bill did not prevent Kinky or Carol from picking up their required signatures, but it significantly impacted the Green Party efforts to get on the ballot. It should not have mattered since petition signers are allowed to sign for both an independent candidate and a political party, but apparently many of the Friedman and Strayhorn petition gathers told their signers to play it safe and not sign any other petitions for fear of possible invalidation.

So Kinky dodged the bullet sent their way by the Republicans, but then the bullet hit the Green Party 2006 ballot drive. That means there will be no Green candidates slicing up Democrat vote totals in November. It also means no love for Republicans from Libertarians since HB 1721 was the Texas LPs’ top proposal for legislative reform in 2004.

Hopefully this one will end up biting the GOP in the butt in the 2006 elections. They could have done the right thing, but chose politics as normal instead.

  1. hope this link works
    in the state of Tennesee it takes 25 ballot access petition signatures to get on the official election ballot for U.S. Senate.
    In Vermont, it takes 500 signatures to get on a major party primary election ballot and 250 signatures to get on the general election ballot in November as an independent candidate for Governor, or U.S. Congress click on elections on the left
    For independent candidates, you don’t have to turn the signatures in to the Secretary of State until September, so you can move to Vermont and run for U.S. Congress
    if you’ve run out of options elsewhere.
    I’m still waiting to see if Loretta Nall will move to Vermont and run for U.S. House of Representatives if she doesn’t make her June 6th deadline to get the Libertarians on the ballot.


    If you really want to be a political candidate, and get on t.v., in Vermont all congressional candidates are invited to Vermont Public T.V. and also you get free candidate commentaries on WNYT Albany, New York which airs in Southern Vermont.

    Remember, you only have to get 250 signatures on a ballot access petition to be an independent candidate for U.S. Congress for Vermont so just move to Vermont in August and get the signatures in to the Secretary of State on time in September.

    I highly encourage Loretta Nall to run for the open seat for U.S. House of Representatives for Vermont if she doesn’t get her ballot access petition signatures in for Alabama.

    This is an open seat because U.S. House of Representatives Bernie Sanders is vacating his seat and running for U.S. Senate.

    Jim Jeffords is retiring from his seat for U.S. Senate.
    I’m running for his seat