Allan Lichtman: Fails to win Democratic nomination for Senate in Maryland

Historians in the News

The Baltimore Sun reported on September 13, 2006 that"American University history professor Allan J. Lichtman was arrested while protesting his exclusion from a debate at Maryland Public Television studios in Baltimore."

Lichtman was one of 18 candidates for the Democratic nomination for Senator in Maryland. According to election results posted at Wikipedia, he came in sixth with just over 6,000 votes. Congressman Benjamin Cardin won the nomination with 235,000 votes, beating out Kweisi Mfume, who received 215,000 votes.

On his campaign website Mr. Lichtman called on Maryland Public Television to drop charges against him:

U.S. Senate candidate Allan Lichtman asks Maryland Public Television (MPT) to drop all charges after his arrest from protesting the only statewide televised debate.

Facing charges of “trespassing on public property after hours,” Lichtman says he “exhausted every avenue to persuade the league and MPT to follow past practice and include all serious democratic candidates in the statewide debate. I called the President of MPT and filed petitions with the Maryland League of Women Voters, the National League of Women Voters, and the FCC. I held two press conferences with candidates Josh Rales and Dennis Rasmussen. It was only after exhausting all of these avenues of redress that I peacefully protested our exclusion from the debate in the foyer of MPT outside the lobby.”

Although Lichtman has encountered some scrutiny from the press, he has also garnered support across Maryland from voters of all parties, who believe it’s time someone stood up for their rights. One voter wrote: “I’m outraged at the way the paths to political office are restricted to the two big party’s chosen candidates. I appreciate your dedication, mission, and courage.”

Lichtman said, “Even if MPT does not drop the charges against me, they should surely drop the charges against my wife and our volunteer-a 40 year-old homemaker who was merely holding a sign that read: ‘Give Democracy a Chance.’”

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