Wow. It is amazing that News OK would get the basic law so wrong. NewsOK claims that ifthe Democratic Party fails to field a candidate for Governor, it could end with the party losing official recognition. There is no threat to Democratic Party status if it fails to place a candidate on the ballot. The law is written in such a manner which could prevent either the Republicans or Democrats from ever losing party status.
A state law that took effect in 1975 requires any recognized political party whose nominee for governor or for presidential and vice presidential electors fails to receive at least 10 percent of the votes cast in a November general election shall cease to be a recognized political party.
While §26-1-109 of the Oklahoma Statutes reads does read that way:
Any recognized political party whose nominee for Governor or nominees for electors for President and Vice President fail to receive at least ten percent (10%) of the total votes cast for said offices in any General Election shall cease to be a recognized political party.
That is potentially overridden by §26 1 107 which reads:
Recognized political parties shall include parties whose candidates’ names appeared on the General Election ballot in 1974, and those parties which shall be formed according to law.
That would mean that in Oklahoma the only parties which could potentially never lose ballot access would be the Democratic and Republican parties since they are the only ones on the ballot in 1974.
Now, this may receive a different interpretation in court, and I would love to see this challenged by an establishment party. But as it stands now, this is a strong legal “get out of jail free card” for the Democratic Party if it doesn’t field a candidate.