Sarvis Not Invited to Debate

Jul 25, 2014

The political pundits will be keeping a watchful eye over this weekend's events at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner and his GOP rival, Ed Gillespie, square off in a Virginia Bar Association-sponsored debate.

But also watching from the outside is their Libertarian opponent, Robert Sarvis, who once again, was not invited to the dance.

Despite surprising experts by polling more than 6% of the vote during last year's gubernatorial election—and even being blamed by some for Republican Ken Cuccinelli's loss—Robert Sarvis seems to be the Rodney Dangerfield of Virginia politics.

Having a reasonable chance of winning the election is one of the VBA's rules for debate inclusion. Most experts say Sarvis doesn't. The candidate must also have a significant and sustained level of financial support and contributors—which Sarvis has struggled with.  Some say if more minor-party candidates were allowed to debate, they would generate enough interest to meet the criteria.