American Party tries to grab hold in South Carolina

Published: Jun. 14, 2013 at 2:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2013 at 3:31 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina voters may have another option on the ballot in 2014 as the American Party tries to grab hold in the state.

A Democrat and Republican are backing the same party.

"It's not just another party," says Dr. James Rex, co-founder of the American Party. "It's a much different approach to politics, and I think it's the approach that more and more Americans are saying they want to see."

"We want to be the problem-solving party," says Dr. Oscar Lovelace, also a co-founder of the American Party. "We want to engage people in public policy."

Rex and Lovelace know public policy and politics well. Rex, a Democrat, was elected superintendent of education for the state in 2006 and Lovelace, a Republican, is a physician who sought his party's nomination for governor in 2006 as well.

"This is an attempt to appeal to that broad section of people that are in the middle that are conservative about some issues, but more liberal about others, and right now they only have two choices, which sort of forces them one side or the other," says Rex.

Rex and Lovelace say the American Party would be a pool of candidates who are more moderate and not career politicians.

"It will be a party of candidates who actually are experienced public servants, people who have proven leadership abilities, and they will be vetted by our party," says Lovelace.

"Right now it seems like the priority among most elected officials in both parties it to get re-elected," explains Rex.

Rex says the American Party would hold candidates and elected officials to a higher standard and impose term limits.

"The level of frustration, even anger among the population, not just in South Carolina, but nationwide, with the disfunctionality of our political system almost demands that some new approach, some new option be provided."

The party needs 10,000 signatures from registered voters to be certified. They've collected 2,000