Third-party candidate derails Virginia governor debate between McAuliffe and Youngkin
Third-party candidate Princess Blanding derailed a gubernatorial debate between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Younkin, shouting from the audience and forcing moderators to take an unexpected commercial break.
Blanding, representing the Liberation Party, is on Virginia’s general election ballot alongside McAuliffe and Youngkin but was not invited on stage for Tuesday’s debate.
Several minutes into the debate, Blanding began shouting from the audience and forced the debate to pause for a full minute before moderator Chuck Todd of NBC said there would be a commercial break.
Blanding said her absence from the debate stage was racism.
“I have every right to be up here. What you’re trying to do is — this is voter suppression,” Blanding shouted.
Another person in the crowd yelled, “This is Jim Crow!”
Tuesday’s debate is the second and last debate between McAuliffe and Youngkin before the Nov. 2 election. Early voting has already begun.
McAuliffe is a former governor of Virginia seeking a second, nonconsecutive term. Youngkin is a first-time candidate and a former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group private equity firm.
The debate was sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, Capital One, NBC4 Washington, and Telemundo 44.
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Original Author: Emily Brooks