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A Green Party candidate went onstage and interrupted a Maryland senate debate

Dr. Margaret Flowers protested her exclusion from the event

(CNN) —  

A Green Party candidate in Maryland went on stage and interrupted a US Senate debate on Wednesday to protest her exclusion from the event, despite missing the 10% polling threshold required.

“This is how you’re treating a candidate?” shouted Dr. Margaret Flowers as security escorted her off the stage, after she delivered a brief statement.

Flowers strode between Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga, and argued that “without having a full public discussion,” the public wouldn’t be educated about their choices in the Senate race.

“I think it’s important for voters to understand the differences between myself and Congressman Van Hollen and Delegate Szeliga, otherwise they don’t really know – I mean, you say you’re a public university, and you want to educate the public, but without having a full public discussion, that doesn’t actually happen,” Flowers said in the University of Baltimore auditorium. “So how does it serve democracy or serve the public if I’m excluded from this discussion if I’m on the ballot?”

Flowers later posted a video of the disruption on her campaign Facebook page, with the caption: “Dr. Margaret Flowers is demanding #OpenDebates in a two party system in which media and Democrats collude to exclude candidates on the ballot. It’s a sham debate until they include Dr. Margaret Flowers U.S. Senate candidate of the Green Party.”

Van Hollen, the Democratic candidate, is the heavy favorite to capture the Maryland Senate seat begin vacated by longtime member, Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

A Washington Post/University of Maryland poll from late September showed Van Hollen with a 29-point lead in the contest.