Editorial | Fayetteville Observer
You’d think, if you watched Walter Dalton and Pat McCrory in their debates, that there are only two people running for governor.
And then you get to the voting booth and find a third name there: Barbara Howe. It’s a surprise, and it shouldn’t be.
Howe is a Libertarian, and it would take a miracle to get her to the governor’s office. But that’s no reason why she should be excluded from all the televised gubernatorial debates. Her presence could have added a lot. But debate organizers were following North Carolina’s long tradition of making it nearly impossible for third-party candidates to get in front of the voters.
Despite steep odds, Howe did make it onto the ballot, as Libertarian Mike Munger did four years ago. Munger, though, actually got some statewide exposure when he was invited to participate in debates. Some of his well-aimed zingers added spice to those sessions and showed up his mainstream-party opponents – which may give us a clue why Howe was excluded.
Howe is nevertheless running hard. Really running: She’s taken a 5-kilometer run through more than 90 of the state’s 100 counties. She’s also been talking to voters and expounding on the Libertarians’ less-is-more philosophy of government.
We don’t expect the comparatively tiny Libertarian Party to capture the governor’s office anytime soon, but if its candidates qualify for the ballot, let’s hear what they have to say. Debates are about ideas, and they should represent all the ideas that are on voters’ ballots.