E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Candidate (3 syl.)
means clothed in white. Those who solicited the office of consul, quæstor, prætor, etc., among the Romans, arrayed themselves in a loose white robe. It was loose that they might show the people their scars, and white in sign of fidelity and humility. (Latiu, canddus, whence candidti, clothed in white, etc.)