2016 SEC Primary Ballot Now Set

Thursday, December 17, 2015
Digital voting machine screen with the words

Thursday marks an important milestone on the road to the White House, which will cross Tennessee during the 2016 election cycle. Secretary of State Tre Hargett has now certified the names of presidential candidates for the March 1 presidential preference primary, or “SEC Primary,” when Tennessee will join six other Southern states to help decide who will be the next president of the United States.

“It is likely one of these men or women will hold our country’s highest elected office. Hopefully, Tennesseans understand how much of an impact their votes will make,” Secretary Hargett said.

It’s important to note that once a candidate is certified for a party primary they are unable to appear on the November 8 general election ballot as the nominee of a different political party. Hargett presented the list of 14 Republicans and three Democrats to the State Election Commission December 1.

The following candidates will be placed on the March 1 ballot:

   Republican Primary Ballot

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Jim Gilmore
  • Lindsey O. Graham
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John R. Kasich
  • George Pataki
  • Rand Paul
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rick Santorum
  • Donald J. Trump

   Democratic Primary Ballot

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Martin J. O’Malley
  • Bernie Sanders

Noon Thursday was also the withdrawal deadline for 2016 presidential delegate candidates. Delegate candidates cannot be considered qualified unless the Division of Elections received a letter from a presidential campaign identifying them. The finalized list is posted at: sos.tn.gov/elections.

Both the Tennessee Republican Party and the Tennessee Democratic Party have their own rules about how someone becomes a presidential delegate. The Republican presidential delegates are decided by election, which is coordinated through the division. The Democratic presidential delegates are decided by party rules.