Senate candidate removed from UCF before debate

Bruce Nathan confirms he was candidate to News 6

ORLANDO, Fla. – Drama erupted at Monday night's senate debate at the University of Central Florida.

University police stopped Bruce Nathan, a candidate for U.S. Senate with the No Party Affiliation, from entering the debate. Police say Nathan tried to get in with armed security and did not have a ticket.

Nathan does not dispute not having a ticket but says he was never asked for one or any information. In a video posted on his Facebook page, you can see Nathan, dressed in his army green at the door of the building. An officer comes to the door and almost immediately begins to get into a scuffle with the candidate.

UCF police say they asked the security guards to leave because they were armed with handguns, which at the time they thought was against Florida state statute. Upon further review, the police department found that the security guards were permitted to be armed because of their class "G" licenses.

“Despite the misinterpretation of the statute, police acted appropriately and lawfully, successfully deescalating a heated incident and allowing the debate to move forward with no further issue,” UCF Police Public Information Officer Courtney Gilmartin said. 

UCF Police also said in its statement that the department believes Nathan intentionally caused a disturbance to gain attention. 

Nathan tells WKMG that he wanted to be on stage with Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy. However, he says if he were asked to sit in the crowd he would have agreed.

Nathan and a member of his security say the entire incident lasted close to 20 minutes and ended amicably.

Meanwhile, inside, Rubio and Murphy did not take long to work to discredit one another. On more than one occasion, Murphy said Rubio already had one foot out the door. When asked if Rubio would serve his full six terms if re-elected, Rubio said he would. But he wouldn't give a direct no when asked if he would consider running for president in 2020.

Rubio's main point tonight was that Murphy still didn't back his accomplishments -- a dig that Rubio has mentioned throughout the campaign. Both candidates also spent the hour discussing their views on women's rights and immigration reform.