Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is pushing back on debate organizers who are excluding him -- along with Libertarian Lex Green and Independent Scott Lee Cohen -- from taking part in the discussion. One of the debates in question is scheduled for October 20 and is organized by the League of Women Voters and the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Gov. Pat Quinn and GOP nominee Bill Brady have been invited to take part in the debate, which will air on ABC 7.
In response, Whitney has released a message to Illinois voters urging them to demand that he be able to participate in all of the debates, pointing out that he won over 300,000 votes in the 2006 primary, which established the Green Party in Illinois and is twice the number of votes Brady received in the February primary. Watch it:
The executive director of the League of Women Voters, Jan Czarnik, told Illinois Issues that her group did not deem it necessary to invite all of the gubernatorial candidates because the focus of the debate is to hear from the candidates who are most likely to win on November 2. "It’s not our job to build support for candidates that the public doesn’t seem to be very interested in," she said.
Whitney will take part in a debate tonight with Quinn and Brady in his hometown of Carbondale, which will air on public radio.