Filing to appear on South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary ballot closed Monday, and one notable name will be left out of the First in the South GOP contest.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not file by Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, the S.C. GOP said. Hutchinson, who has filed to run in the New Hampshire primary where the filing fee is $1,000, did not pay the $50,000 needed to appear on the South Carolina ballot.
Whether Hutchinson, whose campaign ended September with $325,000 in the bank, had enough money to pay the filing fee remained in question.
Hutchinson’s campaign manager, Rob Burgess, resigned this week after not seeing a viable path to the White House for the former U.S. attorney and congressman, according to CBS News. Burgess’ last day on the campaign was scheduled for Tuesday, and he did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Hutchinson’s regional director Dan Brown, who covered South Carolina for the campaign, also has left the campaign team.
Hutchinson has said he plans to continue campaigning, but his absence from the South Carolina ballot will handicap his chances at winning the nomination.
Being on the South Carolina ballot is key for anyone seeking the White House. The winner of the First in the South Republican primary has won the nomination every time since 1980 with the exception of 2012.
Paying the hefty South Carolina filing fee shows a candidate has fundraising ability to get through the race, or is wealthy.
“It’s hard to become the Republican nominee without South Carolina,” said Chad Connelly, who served as S.C. GOP chairman from 2011 to 2013.
Another potential White House Republican hopeful whose name won’t be on the South Carolina ballot is Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin, who was elected in 2021, has been courted by donors to jump into the race, but he already has missed the filing deadlines in Nevada and New Hampshire as well.
“Really, at this point, he’s starting to bump up against some of these filing deadlines,” said Miles Coleman, the associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “Ideally, he would want to have a strong showing in the legislative elections this year, but if … he wants to wait another week for that to may or may not happen, this is one of those trade-offs.”
South Carolina political insiders have said campaigning in the Palmetto State is key for any serious candidate.
“I’m a South Carolina defender, ultimately, and if someone is not on our ballot, they’re not taking the First in the South Primary seriously anyway,” Connelly said. “There’s no way they could win the presidency without being on the ballot in South Carolina.”
And not having a good showing in South Carolina will play a role in how candidates are viewed by primary voters going into the Super Tuesday states.
“It would affect the way voters think of that candidate’s viability,” said Eaddy Roe Willard, the Richland County Republican Party executive committeewoman and former county party chairwoman.
In 2008, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose name appeared on the South Carolina ballot, decided not to campaign in the early states, instead opting to put his chips on Florida’s primary.
Giuliani finished sixth in South Carolina and went on to finish third in Florida before dropping out of the 2008 race.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2020 didn’t run in the early states, hoping to do well on Super Tuesday when he sought the Democratic primary. Bloomberg dropped out after a poor showing on Super Tuesday and only winning one contest, American Somoa.
“There’s a lot of attention you’re not getting, essentially, by not filing here and not being on the ballot,” Willard said.
In total, 10 candidates filed to run in the S.C. GOP primary.
Texas business executive and pastor Ryan Binkley, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and former President Donald Trump have filed to run in the state.
David Stuckenberg, of Florida, and John Anthony Castro, of Texas, who has sued to keep Trump off of primary ballots, also filed to run and paid the fee.