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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Dr. Manigault Missed Her Chance
Jimmy Moore
September 30, 2002

We have quite a lovefest for the Libertarian Party's candidate for Superintendent of Education today. Let me add my two cents worth.

If Dr. Marva Manigault wanted the Republican nomination or if she was perceived to be a better candidate than what the Republicans have offered for the office of Superintendent of Education, then where was she as the deadline for filing as a candidate was approaching?

Dr. Manigault missed her chance to become the Republican nominee for Superintendent of Education.

Had Rick Beltram not actively pursued Dr. Dan Hiltgen to run on the Republican ticket, there would not have been ANY opposition to Inez Tenenbaum. Unless, of course, Dr. Manigault would have still run against the incumbent Democrat Ms. Tenenbaum on the Libertarian ticket. Even still, Dr. Manigault would have had a difficult time defeating the incumbent as a third-party candidate.

While Dr. Manigault is an attractive candidate for conservative voters, she should have thought about why she was running before getting in the race. If her main objective was to help lead the debate of ideas in the race for Superintendent of Education, then she has succeeded. However, if she expected to win the race running as a Libertarian candidate, then it would have been to her advantage to present herself to the Republicans as a candidate when NOBODY else was stepping up to the plate.

Dr. Manigault is to be admired for sticking with the party who encouraged her to run. But it is a foregone conclusion that she will NOT win as a Libertarian candidate. Nevertheless, the Republican Party already has a candidate for Superintendent of Education. His name is Dr. Dan Hiltgen. Like him or not, he is the GOP nominee.

Dr. Hiltgen will NOT and should NOT step down from the Republican nomination to make room for Dr. Manigault. He has ideas for changing the status quo ways of education currently promoted by Inez Tenenbaum. As much time and energy as Dr. Hiltgen has invested in running his campaign for Superintendent of Education, he deserves the opportunity to see this to the very end on November 5th. If he doesn't win, then at least he won't be seen as a quitter.

Furthermore, if Dr. Hiltgen and/or Rick Beltram go to SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson as Ralph Bristol suggests and says that Dr. Hiltgen will resign the nomination so that Dr. Manigault would become the nominee, then the question that needs to be asked if Dr. Manigault would take it?

Only Dr. Manigault can answer that question.

Is it the right thing to do with a little over a month to go before the election? Although Ralph Bristol calls Dr. Hiltgen the "invisible candidate," he has been out there making his name known to the Republican faithful at nearly every political event for the past several months.

Even if Dr. Manigault pooled all of her resources with the resources from the Republican Party, she would still have a very difficult time trying to get her name out to the voters. Outside of Commonvoice.com, I have not seen very much publicity on Dr. Manigault.

Also, getting rid of Dr. Hiltgen means that Dr. Manigault would ostensibly pick up those votes that he would have received. This is what the debate over who the Republican nominee is ultimately comes down to. It will only become an afterthought though if Dr. Hiltgen and Dr. Manigault do not cumulatively receive more votes than Inez Tenenbaum.

However, if the combined vote totals for Dr. Hiltgen and Dr. Manigault surpasses Inez Tenenbaum, then Republicans will be wondering to themselves what might have been.

Maybe somebody should have thought of this BEFORE the filing deadline!

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