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Potts Files Suit

Looks like Russ Potts has decided to fight the 15% requirement to participate in the debates. This could get ugly… I wish them the very best though. The idea that Jeff Pawlowski will get to debate the major party candidates and Potts won’t is kind of outrageous. I mean no disrespect to the Pawlowski campaign, but Potts is a State Senator, running numerous TV ads, and has polled in the high single digits state-wide. Excluding him from the debate is absurd.

The Potts Press Release:

Russ Potts Gubernatorial Campaign today filed a federal lawsuit against national politico Larry Sabato and the University of Virginia Center for Politics. The Potts campaign is seeking an injunction to compel organizers to include Russ Potts in the debate scheduled for October 9th.

The debate was organized by Sabato (who will serve as moderator) who unilaterally stipulated that Potts’ participation in the event was contingent on him reaching 15 percent or higher in two statewide polls. The campaign argues that the July Mason-Dixon poll response that 58 percent want Potts included in debates demonstrates public support for the motion. A federal judge hears the motion late morning tomorrow at U.S. District Court in Charlottesville.

Sabato is a recognized political pundit who regularly appears on the national news scene. He founded the Center for Politics in 1998. Its website describes the organization as “an interdisciplinary, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the proposition that government works better when politics works better and its corollary that politics works better when citizens are informed and active participants.”

The Potts motion argues that the stated mission of the Center for Politics will be advanced by letting Potts participate in Sunday’s event.

“Has Sabato forgotten Virginians in the process of organizing this debate?” asked Potts’ campaign senior strategist Tom D’Amore. “By keeping Russ Potts off the stage, the Center for Politics has established an arbitrary requirement of 15% in the polls, stemming from Jerry Kilgore’s constant refusal to debate Russ. Why is keeping Jerry Kilgore happy more important than giving voters a chance to see the three candidates debate each other?

“Russ Potts has met Virginia’s standard for being on the ballot as a candidate for Governor by submitting over 24,000 signatures. The requirements set by Sabato and the Center of Politics for participating in the upcoming debate are arbitrary and should be rejected.” D’Amore concluded.

One Response to “Potts Files Suit”

  1. IndiPol Says:

    God speed to that lawsuit! The most important criteria is that more than 50% of those polled want him in the debate. Good polling idea for the US Presidential debates. You might be able to see some of the third party participate. Give the people what they want. [with apologies to The Kinks]

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