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Van Hollen and Szeliga Debate

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Del. Kathy Szeliga took part in a televised debate that aired on WJZ Wednesday.

It's sponsored by The Baltimore Sun, the League of Women Voters and the University of Baltimore.

Van Hollen is a seven-term Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Szeliga, a Republican, is the minority whip in the Maryland House of Delegates.

The candidates weighed in on gun violence, the conflict in Syria, college affordability, women's rights and other topics.

While both said they do not agree with presidential candidate Donald Trump's tax plan, Szeliga says she supports Trump's bid for the White House and Van Hollen called him unfit for office.

Szeliga and Van Hollen are running for the seat opening up due to Sen. Barbara Mikulski's retirement. Mikulski announced in 2015 that, after 30 years, she would not run for re-election.

Before the debate began Wednesday, Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Green Party candidate got on stage at the University of Baltimore and asked to be included.

She says she has a statewide campaign and couldn't understand why she wasn't allowed to participate.

The debate rules state that, in order to debate, a candidate must be polling at least 15 percent.

Both Van Hollen and Szeliga said they would agree to Flowers participating, but she was escorted out by security.

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(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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