Grassroots supporters of Linda Ketner have asked the 2008 Congressional candidate to make an independent run against Sen. Jim DeMint in the November elections.
The senate race has made national headlines after completely unknown candidate Alvin Greene, an unemployed veteran who did no campaigning, beat Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl. Party insiders are worried about Greene's viability after several awkward performances during national interviews, his curious absence on the campaign trail, and a felony charge for showing a college student a pornographic picture on a library computer.
A Democrat, Ketner lost in a close race to incumbent GOP Congressman Henry Brown two years ago, but she'd decided to sit out this election cycle and consider a run in 2012.
Doug Warner, a volunteer for Ketner's 2008 race, told C2's Andy Savage today that he and some other Ketner supporters had asked the candidate to consider running. He said she promised to give it serious consideration if the group was able to find the 10,000 signatures necessary to get her name on the ballot in November.
There are many voters who want a viable option and don't see Greene or Green Party candidate Tom Clements as electable alternatives to DeMint, Warner says.
"This is a grassroots effort of everybody in the center," he says.
Ketner ran on a platform to shake up Washington two years ago, focusing on financial regulatory reform and new energy alternatives. She spent a lot of time connecting with voters along the coast, particularly skeptical moderates.
The new twist in the campaign is certain to catch national attention after high-profile coverage of Greene's surprise win. Independent races are typically a long shot for any candidate, but there is more than enough disenfranchisement to go around.
It's suspected that many Democratic Primary voters picked Greene because they didn't know either candidate and would likely make a different choice now. Meanwhile, DeMint faced limited opposition fromhis primary opponent, relative unknown Susan Gaddy, but she still managed to take 70,000 GOP primary votes against the well-heeled incumbent. And there's a large percentage of voters who haven't placed a vote yet.
Ketner did not return an e-mail earlier today seeking a comment. Those interested in signing the petition or learning more about the grassroots effort to draft Ketner can go to ketnerforsenate.com
Here's our 2008 story on Ketner