Nov 14, 2011 7:37 PM by Maddie Garrett

Hardy & Pierre Finally Face Off for House Dist. 44 Seat

Some politicians still battling it out before run off elections this weekend. Monday, incumbent Rickey Hardy finally faced Vincent Pierre in a debate, as each candidate hopes to clench the LA House District 44 seat this Saturday.

You could say this debate is a long time coming, as Rep. Hardy (D) refused to face his opponents in a public forum for months leading up to the October election. But now, after he nor Pierre (D) got 50% of the vote, he's willing to debate.

"This individual has voted against business and industries... What does that tell you about this individual working with the governor for the past four years," said Pierre during the debate.

"Obviously he's talking about things that he don't know about and he's acting upon feelings and not facts," Hardy rebutted.

First up was the economy and jobs. Hardy said he does work for businesses, citing the North Lafayette TIF initiative and his appointment on the House Appropriations Committee. Pierre leaned on his own business experience as a small business owner.

Another hot topic at the debate was the SUNO - UNO merger, which Hardy was for.

"The system is failing, not the children, we have to do better than what we've been doing. Do you believe that a 93% failure rate is acceptable," said Hardy, defending his position.

But Pierre, a Southern University alum, said he would be against the merger.

"And I don't think that we should pick on a certain university for closure, I think we need to look at the entire system, to make sure everyone is getting a fair and equitable education," said Pierre.

While Hardy is mainly running on his record, saying he's the only one with political experience, Pierre is trying to use that against him saying Hardy hasn't done enough.

"He has never served in public office before, don't have a record, have never ever been elected to public office. But he can sit down and criticize what I do," said Hardy.

"It's been four years.... Where are these businesses, why are they not locating in North Lafayette?" said Pierre.

They'll now face off in the polls in the runoff election on November 19th.



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