Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - As Democrats in South Carolina face the uncomfortable prospect of having unemployed political novice Alvin Greene as their Senate nominee in November, some in the party have launched an effort to put a more polished candidate on the ballot as an independent.
Allies of former congressional candidate Linda Ketner, who came within four points of unseating Rep. Henry Brown in 2008, are seeking 10,000 signatures by July 15 to get Ketner's name on the ballot along with Greene and the Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint.
Ketner confidante Tasha Gandy announced the "all volunteer viral and field organizing effort" in an e-mail to former Ketner staffers Wednesday. "Long shot?," she wrote. "Yes. Have crazier things happened in SC? Yes. Can you help?"
The former staffers have also launched a campaign-style website for the petition drive.
Doug Warner, who served as Ketner's finance director during her House bid, said Ketner, a Charleston businesswoman, has not objected to the effort. Warner said his colleagues wanted to explore what kind of support they could enlist before pushing Ketner to formally jump in the race.
"Because Mr. Greene is a not a strong candidate, our thought was that the people of South Carolina deserver to have viable choice when they go to the polls in November," Warner told CNN.
The Ketner effort comes as members of the state party's executive committee prepare to meet in Columbia Thursday to hear a protest from former state lawmaker Vic Rawl, the establishment-backed candidate who unexpectedly lost to Greene in the Democratic primary.
Rawl is seeking a new election, claiming irregularities in voting patters and flawed voting machines. It's unlikely that the 92-member executive committee will overturn the election results and make Rawl the nominee, but they could call for a new primary vote. It's not clear when a new election would be held.
Greene will not officially be certified as the Democratic nominee until August 16, when the party sends their candidate list to the state election commission.