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gubernatorial debate

Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Five weeks separate the gubernatorial primary and runoff in the race for Louisiana governor and this week marks the halfway point. Primary voters whittled down the field to two candidates—Republican businessman Eddie Rispone and the incumbent, Democrat John Bel Edwards.

The top-three candidates met in televised debates three times ahead of the primary and a few more times in candidate forums around the state. But that hasn't been the case in the runoff.

On Wednesday, Edwards and Rispone will meet face-to-face in the first, and likely only, debate before voters head to the polls November 16th.

Pearson Cross, political science professor and the Associate Dean of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette College of Liberal Arts, previews the showdown.

Last night’s gubernatorial debate at the University of Louisiana- Lafayette saw the candidates stake out distinct policy positions and double down on their attacks just two days before early voting starts in the October 12th primary.

Aurianna Cordero / LSU Reveille

Incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, and Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham solidified themselves as the frontrunners of their respective parties Thursday night in the first gubernatorial debate of 2019.

Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman and self-described political outsider, dismissed Edwards and Abraham as “career politicians,” but struggled to provide detailed policy proposals of his own.

The four major candidates for governor participated in a forum Thursday, put on by the Public Affairs Research Council in Baton Rouge. Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne and John Bel Edwards each appeared in person, while David Vitter participated via pre-recorded video.

Predictably, they sniped at Governor Bobby Jindal.