Governor Edwards says yes to statewide debate


Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has confirmed to that he will participate in the first scheduled televised gubernatorial debate.

The event marks the only televised debate planned so far in Louisiana’s governor’s race. Nexstar Baton Rouge stations WVLA Local 33 and WGMB Fox 44 will sponsor it, in partnership with LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

The Sept. 19 debate will be inside LSU’s Union Theater at 7 p.m.

As of right now, there are 3 candidates running against the incumbent, Governor John Bel Edwards

Congressman Ralph AbrahamBusinessman Eddie Rispone and Independent Candidate Gary Landrieu.

Incumbent John Bel Edwards has agreed to participate in the debate which is taking place at the Union Theater on LSU’s campus. 

“My opponents have said they want Louisiana to turn 180 degrees. Well that’s going backwards to the days of Bobby Jindal, and I won’t let that happen.  I am excited about this campaign and my opportunity to present voters with a clear choice: do we keep moving forward and investing in our future or do we go backwards? I am confident the people of Louisiana want to keep moving forward and am eager to contrast my vision for Louisiana with my opponents. I hope they will answer my call for three televised debates to inform voters before the October 12 election,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone released this statement: 

I look forward to debating Governor Edwards and his liberal policies. Louisiana wants a conservative outsider, with serious business skills, not beholden to special interests to make Louisiana the best state in the south.  

Rep. Abraham also released a statement about how he feels about debating the Governor:

“Last time Governor Edwards debated, he flat out lied to Louisianians about whether he would raise taxes. I will not let him get away with that again. I challenge Governor Edwards to debate me in every congressional district, so every Louisianian can hear how he’s failed our state and our people.”

Viewers will be able to watch the gubernatorial debate on Nexstar stations in each Louisiana market as well as participating radio stations and online. WVLA and WGMB Vice President and General Manager Eric Thomas says the debate is important because it provides our viewers the opportunity to make an educated choice on election day. 

GM Thomas said, 

I am extremely excited that Governor John Bel Edwards has accepted our invitation to participate in the Nexstar Broadcasting statewide Governors Debate on September 19th .   I hope his challengers each agree to do the same.   This debate will be focused on state issues, but produced at a national level, and   I believe the viewers will be pleased with the quality of the broadcast, and its content. This debate will showcase our commitment to Louisiana political coverage, and our laser focus on localism.   I also want to thank LSU and the Manship school of Journalism for partnering with us on this broadcast. With their support I am confident this will be one of the best debates this year. 

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