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Green Party Candidate Escorted From Maryland Senate Debate

Both major party candidates were fine with Margaret Flowers participating

Green Party candidate Margaret Flowers, center, is led away by security as state Del. Kathy Szeliga and Rep. Chris Van Hollen wait before Wednesday's Maryland Senate debate. (WJZ-TV)
Green Party candidate Margaret Flowers, center, is led away by security as state Del. Kathy Szeliga and Rep. Chris Van Hollen wait before Wednesday's Maryland Senate debate. (WJZ-TV)

Green Party candidate Margaret Flowers was escorted off the stage Wednesday after trying to crash the Maryland Senate debate between Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Republican state Del. Kathy Szeliga.

Flowers wasn’t invited to debate at the University of Baltimore, but attended as an audience member. When others in the audience called for her to join, she got out of her seat and shook hands with Van Hollen and Szeliga, The Associated Press reported.

“I think it’s important for voters to understand the differences between myself and Congressman Van Hollen and Delegate Szeliga,” Flowers told the audience at the University of Baltimore. “Otherwise, they don’t really know. I mean, you say you’re a public university and you want to educate the public, but without having a full public discussion, that doesn’t actually happen.”

Debate organizers refused to allow Flowers to debate as she was not polling at the required 15-percent threshold, despite both Van Hollen and Szeliga agreeing for her to participate.

Flowers was escorted to a sidewalk outside and the debate began after a 10-minute delay. 

Van Hollen is the overwhelming favorite in the race rated Safe Democrat by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. The seat opened after longtime Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski decided not to seek another term.

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