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Colbert's run for White House stopped short

  • Story Highlights
  • Colbert not expected to file for the Republican party ballot
  • South Carolina panel met Thursday to decide which candidates meet criteria
  • Two requirements: Candidate must be viable nationally, campaign in state
  • Opponents argued comedian made a mockery of the political process
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By Peter Hamby
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COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) -- The South Carolina Democratic Party voted Thursday to keep funnyman Stephen Colbert's name off the Democratic Primary ballot, according to the party's executive director.

Stephen Colbert's name won't be on the South Carolina Democratic primary ballot.

The party's executive council met Thursday afternoon in Columbia to decide which candidates met the criteria to be placed on the ballot, and Colbert didn't make the cut, executive director Joe Werner said.

Colbert has said he will not file for the Republican party ballot because of the $35,000 fee, so the move likely ends his bid to officially run for president in South Carolina.

The host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" filed his papers Thursday morning.

To get on the ballot, a candidate must demonstrate two requirements: that he or she is viable nationally and has spent time campaigning in the state.

Carol Fowler, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party and a member of the executive council, suggested Wednesday that Colbert did not meet the standard of national viability.

"He does not appear to be campaigning to win if he is only running in one state," she said.

One of Colbert's opponents on the executive council, Charleston Democratic party chairman Waring Howe, defended the decision.

"Stephen Colbert clearly didn't qualify under our rules, and it would have been a mistake and wrong to violate our rules," he said.

Meanwhile, long shots Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel did make the cut.

Colbert, the mock conservative pundit whose show regularly features real politicians and political commentators, announced he was running as a Democrat and Republican on October 16.


He made a "campaign" stop Sunday in Columbia to receive a key to the city from Mayor Bob Coble, attracting about 1,000 people, mostly University of South Carolina students.

Opponents such as Howe argued Colbert would make a mockery of the political process. They also noted that for each candidate on the Democratic ballot, the state party must pay $20,000 to the state election commission. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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