Edwards, Rispone square off in only Louisiana runoff debate

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Gov. John Bel Edwards (L) Eddie Rispone (R)

BY MELINDA DESLATTE, Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his Republican opponent Eddie Rispone are readying for the lone head-to-head debate ahead of the Nov. 16 runoff election.

The Deep South’s only Democratic governor has sought to square off with his GOP challenger at multiple events, but Rispone has refused all but one matchup.

That one debate happens Wednesday night in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana Public Broadcasting studio.

Edwards is seeking a second term against an onslaught of national GOP efforts to oust him. He’s accusing Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman, of ducking public events to avoid telling voters what he’ll do in office.

Rispone has sought to nationalize the race, tying himself repeatedly to President Donald Trump. Trump remains popular in Louisiana and has endorsed Rispone.

Early voting begins Saturday.

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