Minor party candidates stood on the State Capitol steps today before a small crowd to launch their campaigns and to ask they be invited this election cycle to debates with major party candidates.

“We are very much shut out of the debates and discussion,” said Tim McKee, the spokesman for the Green Party, adding that 42 percent of registered voters in the state are not affiliated with any political party. “We want more voices and more choices.”

John Mertens, who is running for the U.S. Senate with the Connecticut for Lieberman party, said both of his opponents – Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Richard Blumenthal – have turned down debates he has attended already this year with other minor party candidates and Peter Schiff and Rob Simmons, who failed to receive the Republican nomination in last week’s primary.

“Low turnout in the primaries shows people aren’t interested in the Republican and Democratic parties. Give us a voice or this will be a none-of-the above election,” said Schott Deshefy, a green party candidate for the 2nd Congressional district.

Tom Marsh, the Independent party’s candidate for governor did not attend the event because of prior commitments.

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