Libertarian candidate not invited to participate in the Missouri senate debate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri Senator Claire  McCaskill and Congressman Todd Akin will face off Thursday night in St. Louis in what could be their last debate. But there is one candidate on the ballot you won't hear from.

Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine wasn't invited to the debate. Dine participated in the previous debate in Columbia, Mo., but garnered very little media attention.
 
According to the latest Public Policy Polling Poll, Dine has nine percent of the vote, which could be impact who becomes the next U.S. Senator from Missouri.
 
"A lot of people are kind of tired of the two parties and their constant fighting," Dine said. "A lot of people are looking for an alternative, someone who represents a compromise."
 
In that same poll, he received a seven percent favorable rating, while 83 percent said they are still unsure about him.
 
But those who are unsure won't get a chance to make up their minds during Thursday's debate. The Clayton Chamber Of Commerce, which sponsored the event, didn't ask him to participate.
 
"It's kind of a little hurtful because you go through the same process that all the other candidates go through to appear on the ballot," Dine said.
 
Ellen Gale, executive director of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement about the decision:
 
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce, a private not-for-profit entity, has sought to host a live-broadcast debate between Missouri candidates for the United States Senate. Based on polling-based plurality of support and the time limitations of a live broadcast, the Chamber invited Senator McCaskill and Congressman Akin to be the participants. 
 
"It's kind of shocking because it feels like they're manipulating the Democrats process," Dine added.
 
St. Louis Public Radio invited Dine to go on-air Friday morning to give him a chance to answer all the questions Akin & McCaskill were asked during the debate.
 
Our debate coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. Thursday on 41 Action News. You can also watch the debate on 41 Action News starting at 7 p.m. 30 Rock and Up All Night will air Saturday morning at 1:05 a.m. 
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