Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie is just “a few days” away from filing suit against organizers of the televised debates that begin this month in the race for Florida governor.
Wyllie was initially included in the Oct. 15 debate at Broward College. However, organizers have since dropped him from the program, claiming Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are the only candidates who qualify for a Leadership Florida/Florida Press Association debate.
Representatives from the groups said last month that Wyllie would not be included in the Oct. 15 debate unless a poll shows he has stronger support by the end of the month.
Candidates need at least 15 percent support in a credible poll, including the benefit of the poll's margin of error. A News13/UF Graham Center statewide poll conducted after the Aug. 27 primary showed that only 6.3 percent of likely voters would vote for Wyllie.
Wyllie's campaign said it would fight to be included in the debate and noted the same groups used to set 10 percent support in a poll as the qualifying number, plus the benefit of margin of error.
That was raised after a Reform Party candidate nearly won a court battle to participate in a 2006 gubernatorial debate.
“There was a set of benchmarks that we sent at the beginning of this campaign in order to win this election,” said Wyllie during a special taping of Political Connections on Thursday. “The final benchmark was getting into the televised debates. That’s where we are being blocked at this point.”
Wyllie has retained First Amendment lawyer Luke Lirot. He said during the taping Thursday that he expects to file a lawsuit against the debate organizers “in the next few days.”
“This is so critical to us having the chance at winning this election that we are willing to do whatever it takes,” said Wyllie.
The special edition of Political Connections featuring Adrian Wyllie will air Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Crist and Gov. Scott will also participate in respective shows, airing Oct. 19 and Oct. 26.