Independence candidate unhappy not being in debate
DULUTH, Minn. -- The Independence Party candidate for Minnesota governor complains that a Tuesday forum breaks with tradition by leaving her out. Hannah Nicollet told reporters Monday that Independence governor candidates have been included in pa...
DULUTH, Minn. -- The Independence Party candidate for Minnesota governor complains that a Tuesday forum breaks with tradition by leaving her out.
Hannah Nicollet told reporters Monday that Independence governor candidates have been included in past forums sponsored by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and the Duluth News Tribune.
She also said that recent polls have shown voters want "a third-party option."
Chamber President David Ross said that the sponsors began organizing the event right after the August primary election. They reached an agreement with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican Jeff Johnson campaigns.
"We proceeded with that and have adhered to that and very recently came the request from the Nicollet campaign to be involved in this," Ross said. "To do that would be to break this hard-fought arrangement and we wanted to honor the original commitments. ... To change that in the 11th hour would be a disservice to our agreement."
Ross said that the Nicollet campaign was notified of the decision Friday. Nicollet said she does not understand why she was left out.
Nicollet has been in the low single digits in all but one independent poll. A Forum News Service debate last week included her with Dayton and Johnson after an obscure poll was discovered that gave her 11 percent support, one point more than required to take part in the Moorhead event.
All three candidates were included in a Rochester debate. Two other debates also have not invited Nicollet, but she said that "we are still in discussions."
Nicollet said she plans to be in Duluth Tuesday for broadcast interviews, but does not plan to attend the newspaper-chamber event.
Duluth's My9 television plans to broadcast the forum live, as will 100.5 FM radio in the Duluth area. The Duluth News Tribune will make the forum video available on its Website Tuesday morning, while Minnesota Public Radio's news stations plan to replay the hour-long forum's audio at noon.
The public seating at the event already is full.