Astrid Sarvis, the spouse of Robert Sarvis, the third-party Libertarian candidate for governor of Virginia, is making an emotional plea via YouTube to voters to include her husband in a final debate scheduled for this week.
"If you've been inspired by Rob and the campaign, demand that he be included in the debate," says Astrid, a pediatrician who grew up in the Mississippi Delta, one of eight children.
Three men will be on Virginia's ballot in the governor's race that will be decided on Nov. 5, but only two will participate in the final gubernatorial debate this week.
WDBJ-TV, the Roanoke CBS affiliate, and the campaigns of both Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, negotiated terms in advance that required a 10-percent or better average in the polls based on data from the website Real Clear Politics.
The cutoff to hit the 10-percent threshold has passed, as it was set two weeks in advance of Thursday's showdown.
Sarvis averaged about 9 percent at the time; since then, his average has increased to 9.8 percent.
But despite the TV station receiving "quite a bit of negative reaction," as its news director put it, Sarvis' exclusion from the event stands, according to the Washington Post.
WDBJ-TV informed the McAuliffe and Cuccinelli campaigns that it was open to amending the rules for debate participation, though the Cuccinelli campaign won't allow it, the Post reported.
Traditionally, Libertarian candidates pull support from Republicans, and that seems to be happening in Virginia's race.
"Whenever I meet voters throughout Virginia, they're just elated that they have a third choice. And so it would be a real tragedy for voters not to be able to see me in front of the audience with the other two candidates," Sarvis told WDBJ-TV earlier this month.
Virginia Tech, which is hosting the final debate, also has received complaints about Sarvis' exclusion, according to thePost.
Sarvis was also not allowed to participate in the first gubernatorial debate of this election cycle, which was in late September in McLean and hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.
Patch aggregated live comments from Twitter and other sources during that event, including those from Sarvis and the two major-party candidates.Astrid Sarvis—"way outside her comfort zone," she says—makes the case for her husband in a YouTube video which began airing last week, saying there is "apathy" for the other two candidates.
Astrid Sarvis notes an upward trend in Sarvis' polling numbers.
"Given that, and given the overall attitude among voters about this election, we thought surely he would be in the debate and it would be undeniably clear that this is something that Virginians deserve."
"I say to you, please reconsider. Anything less than inclusion of my husband...is a disservice to Virginia," she said.
What do you think? Should Robert Sarvis be included in the debate? How do you feel about Ken Cuccinelli reportedly refusing to allow it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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