SOS Kemp Releases SEC Primary Presidential Candidates

From a press release by the Secretary of State’s office, SOS Brian Kemp has announced the official list of presidential candidates for the March 1, 2016 “SEC” Primary candidates. Georgia will join Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia for the March 1 primary. It will be the largest collaboration of southern states in a presidential primary since 1992’s Super Tuesday.

If you want to know where to place the blame for certain candidates appearing (such as Donald “What Will He Say Next” Trump) or not appearing (do we really need more?), Georgia law provides political parties the ability to approve which candidates will be placed on their presidential preference primary ballots.

It should be noted that the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Georgia Republican Party submitted their lists of candidates to the Secretary of State’s office last week, so Donald Trump’s most recent comments were not a deciding factor by the GAGOP Executive Committee. One could definitely argue that his previous remarks could have been enough to keep him off the ballot, though.

Independent candidates and certified write-in candidates still have several months before they are required to register with the office.

“I am excited to announce these candidates for the upcoming SEC Primary,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “Nearly all of them have already visited Georgia this election cycle to hear from our voters, and I expect we will see much more of them in the coming weeks.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia selected four candidates:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Martin O’Malley
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Michael Steinberg

The Georgia Republican Party selected thirteen candidates:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich
  • George Pataki
  • Rand Paul
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rick Santorum
  • Donald Trump

“Because of the SEC Primary, candidates are drawn here much earlier to learn about issues important to our state and Georgia citizens, such as our agricultural industry, ports, military installations, and thriving technology and manufacturing industries,” said Kemp. “It’s important we make sure every Georgian knows about the SEC Primary on March 1, 2016. The larger the voter turnout, the greater the impact Georgia will have in future presidential primaries.”


  1. drjay says:

    ok i thought i was pretty well versed in obscure candidates–i even have an “i like lessig” button, but i’ve never heard of this steinberg cat…

    • David C says:

      I don’t think that’s possible? I remember voting in primaries in 2004 and 2008 and still seeing Dean, Clark, Gephardt etc. even though it was down to Kerry and Edwards by then. So the names stay on the ballot even if most people don’t vote for them (though I think Dean won Vermont several weeks after he dropped out that year, sort of a “Thanks for your service” favorite son kind of result).

        • benevolus says:

          Seems bizarre, but ,same reason we have the electoral college. It’s a fail-safe to prevent dangerous or deranged (or both) people from accessing the levers of political power. Sort of like how a board of directors can fire the founder of a company.

        • Lawton Sack says:

          It has become a two-edged sword. People fuss if a particular person is included (Trump, Ray McBerry) and people would fuss if someone was excluded. BTW, people have been excluded by the GAGOP from the Presidential primary, but they were typically names that most had not heard of.

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