SHREVEPORT, La. – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and his Republican challengers, Congressman Ralph Abraham, and businessman Eddie Rispone, will face off tonight in a televised debate.
A poll commissioned by Nexstar Media Group, showed Edwards leading with 41 percent to Abraham’s 24 percent and Rispone’s 16 percent.
The debate will air statewide at 7 p.m. in front of a live audience at LSU’s Union Theatre in Baton Rouge. KTAL NBC 6 parent company Nexstar Media Group is hosting the debate, in collaboration with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication.
KTAL NBC 6 anchor Jacque Jovic is one of the three moderators for the debate, along with WVLA’s Fred Childers and Chad Sabadie. They will deliver questions to the candidates focused on topical local and regional issues impacting communities across Louisiana, including education, health care, infrastructure, and the economy, as well as candidate-specific subjects.
The one-hour debate will air on KTAL NBC 6, WNTZ-TV, WVLA-TV (NBC), WGMB (FOX), KLFY-TV (CBS), KTVE-TV (NBC), in addition, to select television broadcast partners including KSWL-TV (CBS) and WGNO-TV (ABC).
Edwards is expected to defend his record amid criticism about government spending levels, tax increases and criminal sentencing law changes he supported.
Abraham and Rispone will be trying to highlight their own differences and position themselves as the best equipped to take on Edwards in a runoff election. The debate comes days after Rispone launched attack ads against Abraham and Edwards.
The primary will be held October 12, with a runoff election (if necessary) on November 16.