Libertarian candidate for governor complains of exclusion from debate

LITTLE ROCK — Libertarian candidate for governor Frank Gilbert complained Wednesday that he and Green Party candidate Josh Drake have been excluded from an upcoming debate.

Little Rock television station KATV announced Tuesday that it was organizing an Oct. 7 debate between Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross. The debate will be held at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and aired live by KATV, Fort Smith and Fayetteville station KHBS/KHOG and Jonesboro station KAIT.

“The decision to ignore and therefore silence half the candidates in this race is inexplicable,” Gilbert stated in a news release Wednesday. “The stations have chosen to ignore their mandate to work in the public interest. They have also ignored the majority of Arkansans who believe we need a third political party.”

Gilbert urged the stations to reconsider and said he was not excluding “the possibility of legal action.”

KATV News Director Nick Genty did not immediately return a call Wednesday seeking comment.