‘I am on the ballot! Why am I not on the stage?’ Princess Blanding shouted. ‘This is not democracy!’
Virginia’s second gubernatorial debate was interrupted on Tuesday night when a third party candidate began shouting from the audience.
Princess Blanding, a progressive candidate of the Liberation Party, drowned out Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin as she accused the debate’s hosts of unfairly excluding her.
“I am on the ballot! Why am I not on the stage?” the candidate shouted. “This is not democracy!”
Moderator Chuck Todd tried to calm Ms Blanding down, repeatedly saying “thank you” and “all right,” but she continued to yell.
Endelig, Mr Todd pulled the plug on the segment, calling over security.
“All right, we’re gonna take a quick commercial break,” he told the TV audience. “We’ll be right back.”
Outside the forum, Ms Blanding defended her actions.
“I just made it very clear that I am a candidate, to let Virginians know that their censorship of my candidacy is racist, it is very sexist, it is very oppressive, and it’s a form of voter suppression,” the Libertarian told CNN reporter Eva McKend. “Their goal is to make sure that Virginians don’t know that I exist so they feel they have to choose between the lesser of two evils.”
The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the debate, had not responded to Den uavhengige’s request for comment at the time of publication.
The election for Virginia’s next governor will be held on 2 november. Recent polls have shown a close race between Mr McAuliffe, the state’s former governor, and Mr Youngkin, a businessman and political newcomer, but Mr McAuliffe remains slightly ahead.