It’s not easy for Libertarian Party candidates to garner campaign publicity when they’re barred from routine candidate events, the Augusta Free Pressau pointed out in a recent article. Virginia’s 2017 gubernatorial Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra wasn’t allowed to participate in Tuesday’s debate between the two major-party candidates.
“Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian candidate for governor, was technically at Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial candidate debate,” the Augusta Free Press article noted. “He wasn’t on the stage, of course. Third-party candidates have a hard time getting a podium at these kinds of things.”
The article continued with Hyra’s perspective on his lack of access to this important candidate forum.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hyra was quoted as saying in the article. “Especially because some polling came out recently, and they actually asked the question, do you want to see Cliff Hyra in the debates? And overwhelmingly, the answer was yes. More than two-thirds said yes, only 15 percent said no. That seems to be the most important criteria: do people want see me, want to know what my issues are, my positions are?”
Those issues and positions provide a crucial alternative for voters. As Hyra said in the article, “On social issues, I’m very inclusive. I’m pro-immigration, pro-tolerance, anti-discrimination. I’m looking to end any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in state employment decisions.” He also has a strong streak of fiscal restraint, he pointed out.
“Hyra is on the ballot, which one might think would be enough to merit inclusion on the debate stage with the major party candidates, Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie,” the Augusta Free Press wrote. “But, hey, the two parties in the two-party system cling to the vestiges of their cartel.”