Green Party Candidate For Senate Crashes Maryland Debate

Margaret Flowers wasn't polling at 15 percent, so she didn't qualify for the debate. But that didn't stop her.

Green Party Candidate For Senate Crashes Maryland Debate
Facebook / Margaret Flowers For Senate

A Maryland candidate for the U.S. Senate crashed a debate between her opponents Wednesday night.  

"If you don't mind leaving the stage at this point so that we continue with this organized debate," WJZ-TV anchor and debate moderator Vic Carter asked.

"Well, I'm a candidate on the ballot. I have a statewide campaign," Margaret Flowers responded.

You might be asking, "If she's a candidate, how is she crashing the debate?"

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Well, Margaret Flowers  didn't qualify for it. The debate rules only allowed candidates on stage if they had at least 15 percent support in the polls.

Republican state Del. Kathy Szeliga and U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen qualified.

"I mean, you say you're a public university and you want to educate the public, but without having a full public discussion, that doesn't actually happen. So how does this serve democracy or serve the public if I'm excluded from this discussion?" Flowers asked. 

Flowers didn't get an answer to her question. Police escorted her out of the room. 

Flowers did have the opportunity to debate her opponents earlier this month though it does not appear to have been televised.

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Some more well-known third-party candidates likely feel Flowers' pain.

Third-party candidates for president — including the Green Party's Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson — didn't qualify for this year's presidential debates.

And that's even with the most unpopular Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in history

The Libertarian and Green parties sued the Commission on Presidential Debates last year with no success.

Stein and Johnson found their own ways to debate. They live-tweeted the debates — but they likely didn't have the attention of the 70- to 80-million-person audiences Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had.

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Stein's campaign even streamed the debates and included Stein's on-camera responses to the questions. 

Stein and Johnson did participate in individual town halls hosted by CNN over the summer.