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Candidate Alleges Virginia Debates Exclusionary

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Under current rules, only Tim Kaine and George Allen qualify for the debate for candidates looking to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim Webb, pictured.
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Under current rules, only Tim Kaine and George Allen qualify for the debate for candidates looking to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim Webb, pictured.

A U.S. Senate candidate from Northern Virginia is filing a lawsuit asking a federal court to order the organizers of a debate to include him. Julien Modica of Reston says a judge should cancel the December debate that includes former Virginia Governors George Allen and Tim Kaine if he isn't allowed to take part.

Eight Democrats and Republicans are running for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Jim Webb. The debate rules state that to participate, a candidate must have achieved 15 percent in primary polls, and raise at least 20 percent as much money as the parties’ front-runners. Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen are only ones who have qualified.

Democrat Julien Modica believes his civil rights have been violated -- and the voters’ right to more options and an awareness of all issues, even within the parties, is being denied: "Ok, you guys have been here, you both have been governors, one has been a Senator, one was the chairman of the DNC, why would I just sit here and allow you to take over?"

Modica says both Allen and Kaine have shown how they will lead and that may not be what voters need now.

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