S.C. Independent candidate may challenge Greene, DeMint in November

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The South Carolina Democratic Party may have decided to keep Senate candidate Alvin Greene on the ballot for the November election, but that doesn’t mean they plan to support him. An effort is underway to get an Independent Party candidate on the ballot to challenge Greene and the incumbent, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.

Linda Ketner, a lesbian who serves as president and co-founder of KSI Leadership and Management Development in Charleston, ran for Congress from the 1st District against Harry E. Brown in 2008. She garnered more votes than any other Democratic candidate since1986 and lost by only a narrow margin.

Now, thanks to Greene’s shocking victory, she could be a serious challenger for Senate. All she needs is 10,000 signatures.

Doug Warner, who served as Ketner’s financial director in 2008 and now works as a self-described “volunteer” for the petition drive to get Ketner on the ballot, told the Daily Caller that Ketner has not yet officially committed to run.

“I would say that she will announce sometime between now and July 15 as to what her decision will be,” Warner said.  “I can’t talk for her, but I do know her well enough to know that if the people of South Carolina are clear that they want her to serve, she will take that very seriously.”

So will the Democratic Party abandon Greene and support Ketner if she makes it on the ballot?

“As long as we have a nominee on the ballot, we can’t support another candidate,” party chair Carol Fowler told the Daily Caller.

However, she did say that she cannot fully support Greene.  “I have not given up hope” that Greene might withdraw from the race, she said, adding: “I hope that when he has time to calm down from the media frenzy he will realizes his weaknesses as a candidate.”

Warner indicated that Ketner will probably decide to seize on those weaknesses.

“I think she will [decide to run],” said Warner, who also said he supports Ketner even though he is a registered Republican. “She is a fiscal conservative … she was right on banking, and she was right on the economy.”

Despite her conservative leanings, Ketner has generated excitement among South Carolina Democrats.

“Linda Ketner is a great Democrat,” said Fowler. “I know a lot of individual Democrats would support her.”

Though Warner could not provide the amount of signatures so far on the petition — which has been active for a day and a half — he did say that the campaign has over 100 volunteers.