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Reitenour calls on Indianapolis TV stations to correct 'injustice' of excluding her from debates

Jamie Reitenour stands on a stage behind a lectern and speaks into a microphone. Reitenour is a woman with dark hair that's streaked with gray, wearing a red jacket over a white top.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jamie Reitenour has been excluded from some televised debates because she doesn't meet certain polling and campaign contribution criteria.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jamie Reitenour said local Indianapolis television stations should correct the “injustice” of excluding her from primary debates.

Fox59-CBS4 and WISH-TV will both host debates for Indiana’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

To get into those debates, local Fox-CBS owner Nexstar requires candidates to have reached at least 5 percent in public polling and $100,000 in campaign contributions. That bars both Reitenour and former Attorney General Curtis Hill.

WISH-TV’s criteria aren’t publicly available, though Reitenour has said it’s a $300,000 contribution requirement.

READ MORE: Republican gubernatorial candidates spar in first formal debate of campaign

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Some of the other candidates, notably Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, have called on the stations to include all candidates on the ballot. But Reitenour said some — including U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), considered the frontrunner — have been silent.

“If the candidates will not stand for what is right now, why would Hoosiers believe they will stand for Hoosiers later?” Reitenour said.

Reitenour pointed out that in the poll Nexstar is using to exclude her, 43 percent of people were undecided on the race.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.