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Brian McLaughlin | Media Director – Committee to elect Paul Stanton

Email: Twitter: @BrianMacWriter

DELAND, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2016): Today, Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton contacted the Marco Rubio campaign and challenged the incumbent Republican Senator to the six-debate proposal Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has declined to fully participate in.

RELATED: Get to know Paul Stanton, Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate

Here is an excerpt from Stanton’s letter to Rubio, which you can read in its entirety by clicking on the PDF link to the right (paul-stanton-letter-to-rubio-sept19):

“I agree with you that transparency in the agendas of the candidates in this Senatorial race is of utmost importance, and that the best way to achieve this transparency is by multiple public debates.  In 2010, all three candidates for the U.S. Senate agreed that Floridians deserved six thoughtful debates.  This year, Floridians deserve no less.”

Stanton polled in the double-digits in the first three-way Public Policy Poll (PPP), which was released Sept. 7. The incumbent, Rubio, drew 40 percent, while Democrat challenger Murphy had 37 to Stanton’s 10, with 13 percent saying they were undecided about the Nov. 8 election.

RELATED: Paul Stanton’s BallotPedia page

So far, Rubio’s and Murphy’s camps have agreed to be on the same debate stage only twice-on Oct. 17 at UCF in Orlando and Oct. 26 at Broward College in Davie. The Oct. 26 debate has made its criteria and format public, making it possible for a candidate polling at 12.5%—with an accepted 3.5% margin of error—to be on the debate stage. The ‘accepted’ polling will be done independently in September and criteria must be met by Oct. 3, when invitations go out. In this scenario, if Stanton were to replicate his PPP showing, he would be invited thanks to the margin of error rule.

PPP pointed out Stanton’s solid start in its press release on Sept. 7:

“… one thing that’s particularly notable is that Libertarian Paul Stanton pulls 10% of the vote at this point. That’s a reflection of the choice Floridians face at this point. Rubio is not popular, with only 35% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 45% who disapprove. But Murphy is relatively unknown with 47% of voters having no opinion about him one way or another … These are the conditions that can lead to a 3rd party candidate doing well and right now Stanton is benefiting from that dynamic.”

Stanton is coming off a victory in the first-ever statewide Libertarian primary in Florida, winning with 74 percent of the vote. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq. Following his service, The DeLand native became an outspoken Libertarian activist and qualified for the ballot in June. The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States and the Libertarian presidential candidate, Gov. Gary Johnson, will be on the ballot in all 50 states. The LP is committed to free-market principles, civil rights, personal freedom, non-interventionism, less government intervention, peace and free trade.

Paul Stanton speaks during an August pre-primary Senatorial debate in Stuart (Fla.) which invited all candidates from all parties. Democrat ‘Rocky’ de La Fuente is to Stanton’s right.