The decision is a loss for the Ohio Green and Libertarian parties.
The Ohio Elections Commission unanimously ruled that current law allows debate organizers to exclude minor parties. The Green and Libertarian parties had said organizers violated election law by giving the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor exclusive exposure unavailable to third party candidates.
But the Ohio Elections Commission didn’t see debate inclusion as a charitable contribution to the major parties. The decision includes organizers such as the newly formed Ohio Debate Commission - Ohio Public Radio and TV is part of that group.
Controversy over whether to include minor parties in debates is not new. In past years, many debates have excluded minor parties candidates and challenges to those situations have gone nowhere.