Excluded from debate

My friends.

We have worked hard. No one can deny that fact. I have marched in parades, manned booths, gotten on the phones, and knocked on doors with many of you. We have reached out to thousands of Utah voters on a very small budget in comparison to the Democratic and Republican parties. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to reach the thresholds set by the Utah Debate Commission.

I am broken, as I am sure many of you are.

The system is set up for us to fail, without millions of dollars. Even the media has largely refused to do more than mention “oh yeah, Craig Bowden is running too.” This is in spite of a multitude of press releases sent out, interviews done that never aired, and even after driving nearly 350 miles to speak with a reporter, our words were never published.

It reminds me when I was protesting the Utah Debate Commission in 2014 at Weber State University. I was midway through an interview with Fox 13 and the producer came over the phone and pulled the interview stating that they aren’t giving air time to third party candidates. This happened a second time with the Standard Examiner when I asked for coverage in 2016 since the Republican and Democrat were both being profiled in the paper.

The Utah Debate Commission asks that candidates reach a certain threshold in a poll, but the very media that is members of the board of directors for the commission, will not cover what we do. Our campaign has sent out over 200 press releases, with photos, because we have done hundreds of events since we began this journey.

We have tried to have our commentary on pressing issues quoted.

There is one positive note from the media. Dennis Romboy from the Deseret News has used our quotes when we have contacted on a few occasions, but it is not enough to overcome the name recognition barriers to poll high enough.

Every member of the board of directors has a vested interest in keeping third parties out. Even Eric Eliason, the only third party candidate to make it into the debates this year, had to spend over $100,000 in order to be included. Even with that, he only polled at 6.6%. Like all other candidates outside of the two-party system, he has not gotten much news either, even though I have done multiple side-by side events with him in First Congressional District.

I will continue to attend events to hopefully educate voters of their choices. As a Marine, we don’t run when things get tough.

I want to thank you all again for your support over the last several months.

In Liberty,

Craig Bowden


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