NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As the second of four scheduled debates in the race for the next Governor of Louisiana wrapped up on Friday, Sept. 15, candidates told WGNO that they wanted more time to connect with voters.

When asked about how the debate went, six of the seven candidates took time to express their thoughts on the election topics after the debate. One candidate, in particular, State Attorney General Jeff Landry, the frontrunner, remained absent.

“He doesn’t show up, so we can talk about it. Then we don’t get adequate time to talk about it,” said John Schroder, a candidate for governor.

In Landry’s absence, candidates who have experience in select areas felt they missed time to really connect with voters, like candidate Sharon Hewitt.

“I didn’t feel like I had enough time to connect with the voters. We didn’t really talk about the big issues people are concerned about, like crime, the economy, education and workforce. We didn’t get to those issues,” said Hewitt.

Another candidate, Shawn Wilson, commented on the debate, saying, “I feel fantastic about tonight’s debate. I feel somewhat saddened that we didn’t get a chance to talk about education and healthcare. Those are two fundamental issues that everyday people think about, and I think that those are issues that my policies are much more aligned with citizens across the state.”

Candidate Richard Nelson added to the discourse around not getting to certain topics.

“We didn’t talk about crime. We didn’t talk about jobs and opportunities. We didn’t talk about education. Those are three things that I worked on in the legislature, and it’s kind of a disservice to not talk about that. At the same time, I think the debate was really good. We got to see a lot of disparities between candidates, and I think it went really well,” said Nelson.

Discussing the significance of the debate, candidate Stephen Waguespack commented, “I think it went great. This is the first major opportunity where all seven major candidates were able to go on stage directly to voters. I think we, as candidates, owe that to the voters, and I think voters expect that.”

As the race for the next governor continues, candidate Hunter Lundy expressed his thoughts on the race, saying, “If God allows me, I’ll be the best governor that Louisiana ever had. I’ll make that run-off. I’m the only one in this group that beats Jeff Landry head-on.”

Despite concerns regarding the lack of time to discuss issues further in the debate, all candidates have the opportunity to reach out to voters again with two more debates in the future.

With this addition of time, Landry commented on the debates, stating that he will not participate in any other debates between now and election day.

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