May 6, 2021 (ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) – Albuquerque television station KRQE is holding a special election debate on Monday – but the Libertarian candidate won’t be there. Apparently, his campaign isn’t rich enough for the news station.

KRQE News Director Iain Munro told the Libertarian Party of New Mexico that the station’s criteria for candidates to be included in the debate were “polling at 10 percent” and “$50,000 in donations, not loans.”

Since Libertarian candidate Christopher Manning has not yet reported his donation totals to the Federal Election Commission, it’s unclear how KRQE would know how much money his campaign has raised to date. No one from KRQE reached out to the campaign to inquire. Nonetheless, he was excluded from the debate.

“Clearly, KRQE believes New Mexicans do not deserve to hear from all the major party candidates in the special election, since the station set arbitrary criteria designed to exclude any candidates other than a Republican and a Democrat,” said LPNM Chair Chris Luchini. “What does campaign funding have to do with a candidate’s ability to lead in Congress and deliver practical solutions for New Mexico’s problems? Absolutely zero.”

Luchini also questions KRQE’s claim to have polling information on the CD-1 race. When Munro was asked what polling data KRQE was using to qualify candidates for the debate – since no poll results have been published by any news outlet in New Mexico to date – the news director told the LPNM, “We have some internal stuff.”

“Normally, poll results represent headline news in an election, so if KRQE has polling data, why are they keeping it secret?” Luchini said. “We would expect they would report heavily on polling related to the CD-1 race because it’s such important news.”

Despite the fact Manning will not be included in the KRQE debate, New Mexico voters have ample opportunities to get to know him and his positions better. They can watch his performances in the KOB-4 debate and the upcoming KOAT/KKOB/Albuquerque Journal debate, meet with him any Saturday evening as he hikes around the district, follow his Facebook page, and reach out to his campaign directly to speak with him, volunteer or donate.

“We hope the outraged voters of CD-1, whether Libertarian or not, will phone KRQE to protest my exclusion from this debate,” Manning said. “The people deserve to hear from me to learn why I am their best choice for Congress.”

Interested parties may contact KRQE at 505-243-2285.


For the Media:

Chris Manning for Congress: