Mark Tippetts

(Heartland Newsfeed) — Nearly a week ago, the national Libertarian Party issued a press release regarding Nexstar Media Group‘s exclusion of Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Mark Tippetts from the first gubernatorial debate slated for September 28 in Austin.

Mark TippettsAs a part of the guidelines, debate inclusion requires being in the top three in polling.

Tippetts met that mark in last month’s poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, meeting the requirement leaving 16 percent undecided.

However, Nexstar-owned KXAN, which is in charge of the debate, chooses to ignore that fact and excluded Tippetts from the debate.

Nexstar owns hundreds of stations nationwide, including 12 in the Lone Star State, the very state I was born in.

This would have potentially presenteda forum for the majority of the state who refuse to support Greg Abbott’s re-election bid or refuse to vote for Democratic opponent Lupe Valdez.

From the release:

There is a candidate’s debate coming this fall, and the voters deserve to hear from all the candidates who will be on the ballot. The Republicans and Democrats have colluded to exclude me because they don’t want you, the voters, to hear the only candidate with ideas rooted in personal liberty. Greg Abbott doesn’t care about your rights. Lupe Valdez is economically illiterate. There will be exactly one candidate on the ballot in November who respects your personal liberty as well as your wallet. Do you agree? Then join us in this fight to have our voice heard. The Libertarian Party of Texas has fulfilled every requirement to attain ballot access. If we are on the ballot, we should be in the debate. Texas voters deserve to know all their choices. I await an invitation from Nexstar.
Mark Tippetts, Libertarian candidate for Texas governor

Tippetts earned the nomination in a hotly-contested four-way race last April.

Then you have people like the Austin Chronicle‘s Chase Hoffberger, who honestly believes Tippetts should never be invited to the debate, moreorless future debates. A rumored second debate is planned for October 8.

Boy, did Hoffberger’s article bit him in the behind, as cited in the comments:

I’m sorry, but if you’ve been certified for ballot access, you deserve to be in the debates.

Kash Jackson, who’s running for governor in Illinois, was just invited to one of the debates which will be held in Chicago.

Larry Sharpe, the only opposition to Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo for governor in New York, is bound to be included in their debates.

If you think Libertarians or other alternative candidates don’t deserve debate access after securing ballot access, you’re badly mistaken.

Nexstar, do what is right, proper and ethical and include Mark Tippetts in the debate.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.