Stephen Colbert denied South Carolina primary run

WASHINGTON Thu Nov 1, 2007 6:24pm EDT

Entertainer Stephen Colbert poses with his new book ''I Am America (And So Can You!)'' at a book signing in New York October 24, 2007. Colbert's requests to be on the South Carolina Democratic and Republican primary ballots were rejected on Thursday. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Entertainer Stephen Colbert poses with his new book ''I Am America (And So Can You!)'' at a book signing in New York October 24, 2007. Colbert's requests to be on the South Carolina Democratic and Republican primary ballots were rejected on Thursday.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It may be the shortest U.S. 2008 presidential campaign yet -- comedian Stephen Colbert's requests to be on the South Carolina Democratic and Republican primary ballots were rejected on Thursday.

Colbert, who has admitted he does not want to be president but just wanted to run for it in his native state of South Carolina, had filed for the Democratic ticket earlier on Thursday and paid the $2,500 filing fee.

Hours later, the party's executive council voted 13-3 against allowing him on the ballot for the January 26 primary contest, party spokeswoman Keiana Page told Reuters. The eight other major Democratic candidates were accepted, she said.

"Those candidates who were rejected will receive their checks back," she said, adding that a variety of reasons can keep a candidate off the ballot including whether they are a nationally recognized candidate and the individual is actively campaigning in the state.

Colbert also failed to qualify for the Republican January 19 primary ballot. He was required to file papers with the state party as well as the Federal Election Commission and pay a $35,000 fee, but that did not occur by Thursday's deadline, according to a party official.

A spokeswoman for the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" declined to comment.

Colbert, whose pugnacious egomaniacal television persona routinely mocks conservative talk shows, said he had hoped to run in both South Carolina primaries "because I'd like to lose twice."

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