Letter: Why were other gubernatorial candidates left out of debate? (Aug. 10, 2022)

Editors of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association:

I am writing to thank you for hosting the first gubernatorial debate of this campaign season. Last Friday, I was watching the debate you hosted and noticed something, or rather, someone, was missing.

Of the multiple candidates running for governor of Oregon, only three of them were invited to attend. A duly elected Libertarian candidate, R Leon Noble had been excluded and I would like to know why.

Mr. Noble earned the nomination of the Libertarian Party of Oregon during their Primary Election held last June.

Unlike other “minor” parties, Libertarians do not need to spend millions of dollars on a primary campaign in order to ensure ballot access. With our closed primary rules, we are able to develop personal relationships between candidates and constituents, not just throw dollars around trying to buy votes.

Was R Leon Noble excluded because he is not a woman? Oh, I have your attention now, don’t I?

Or was he excluded because in this day of “Pay to Play” politics, he has yet to raise the millions of dollars already in the coffers of the three female politicians who appeared on the ONPA stage.

Furthermore, Ms. Johnson is still in the process of collecting signatures in order to appear on the ballot in November.

As mentioned above, Mr. Noble has no such hurdle to overcome, yet he was excluded from the debate.

Could it be in this age of political correctness, white privilege, and toxic masculinity, that the ONPA doesn’t want to hear from a white man?

Are you trying to silence candidates who haven’t “paid their way” into the governor’s race? Or is it Mr. Noble’s ideas that you are afraid of?

Are you concerned that the people of Oregon might hear a message that disturbs the status quo?

Most Oregonians can agree that neither Ms. Kotek, Ms. Drazan, nor Ms. Johnson represent them.

Why can’t those disenfranchised voters hear from a candidate who will?

I don’t know about you, but the platform of Safety & Security, Liberty & Equality, and the Economy sounds to me like just what Oregon needs to hear right now. If you would like to learn more about the Libertarian candidate for Governor, R Leon Noble, please visit his website: SetOregonFree.com

Or better yet, give him the opportunity to reach the voters of Oregon that was previously denied him and invite him to the debate that is planned for October of this year.

Sharlyn Cox

Legacy Media Director

for Set Oregon Free