Nov 7, 2011 11:24 PM by Maddie Garrett

Guillory & Cravins Sr. Sling Mud in Heated Debate

Senator Elbert Guillory and Opelousas Mayor Don Cravins, Sr. are battling it out for the District 24 Senate seat. The two engaged in a heated debate at UL Monday, moderated by the university's chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.

The gloves are off and it's Louisiana politics in full force. Incumbent Elbert Guillory went head-to-head with Don Cravins, Sr., who once sat in the District 24 seat for 15 years.

"Look at my record and look at his, he's done nothing," said Cravins, Sr.

"What I present to you, what I present to the people of District 24, is honesty and integrity," said Guillory.

The two Democrats discussed education at length. Guillory defended his support of the UNO-SUNO merger, saying Louisiana's education system needs consolidation and cooperation. Cravins, Sr. focused on vocational training for high school students.

But it was obvious, quite a bit of time by both candidates was spent smearing the other's name.

"I have affidavits from people's money he's taken and not represented them, didn't show up for court," Cravins, Sr. accused.

"This is the Legislative Auditor's audit. They have found a pattern of mismanagement, a pattern of giving contracts and money to cronies," Guillory said of the Mayor and Opelousas.

Throughout the entire debate, both candidates brought up their own records and making allegations about the other's record as well.

So what are the records? It's true that the City of Opelousas and Cravins, Sr. are under investigation for questionable city contracts and mismanagement. But Guillory headed up a task force that called for that investigation.

Ironically, Guillory was found guilty of violations of the Seattle ethics ordinance in the 1980's.

On the positive side, Guillory has sponsored several bills that reform parole and the prison system to help rehabilitate inmates. And Cravins, Sr. was part of bringing the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and Evangeline Downs to St. Landry Parish.



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