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Wyllie Wants Back In Debate, Takes Legal Action

Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Photo, wyllieforgovernor.com.
Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Photo, wyllieforgovernor.com.

The gubernatorial debates begin next week between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist.

Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie was invited to one of the debates, then un-invited.

According to Wyllie, debate organizers now say candidates need to be polling at least 15 percent to participate. That rules out Wyllie, who has only polled as high as 12 percent.

Dean Ridings of the Florida Press Association, the debate organizers, says the candidates knew the criteria when they were invited before the primaries. The last time they changed the debate criteria was in 2006.

As a third-party candidate with little name recognition, Wyllie says the state-wide debate could change the outcome of his campaign and the election.

“Getting into the debates was mission critical and we looked at some historical precedent with third parties," says Wyllie. "One for example is Reform party candidate Jessie Ventura. One month before the debate he was polling at 10-percent and after the debates he ended up winning the election.”

Wyllie is filing a lawsuit challenging the decision. He’s tapped constitutional lawyer Luke Lirot to make his case.

The first of three debates is Friday October 10th hosted by Telemundo in Miami.

Wyllie was invited to two other debates, but Governor Scott declined to participate.


This story was updated October 6th to reflect a statement from the Florida Press Association. 

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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