Sep 13, 2011 11:26 PM by Maddie Garrett

Live Debates Kick Off Campaign Season

Campaign season is here and candidates have hit the ground running. Acadiana's Open Channel kicked off this election period with the first live debate to be broadcast, which started at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Six candidates had 90 seconds per question to make their opinions heard. Tuesday's debate included House District 39 candidates Stephen Ortego and Don Menard, House District 42 candidates Jack Montoucet and Anthony Emmons and House District 44 candidates Vincent Pierre and Rochelle Jones, incumbent Ricky Hardy did not attend.

"This is so exciting, it's really wonderful to have both democrats and republicans here as part Acadiana Porgressives debates," said producer Robert J. Wilson.

Acadiana Progressives and Lafayette Democrats put on Tuesday's debates. AOC made it possible by handling the technology and providing the airwaves.

"I refer to us as sort of the canary in the coal mine, if you don't get these voices out you're never really going to know what's going on," said Ed Bowie, AOC Executive Director.

Questions were drawn up by a committee put together by Acadiana Progressives and Lafayette Democrats, and some questions came from voters.

"It's going to give them an opportunity to hear from people that maybe they haven't heard from quite yet, so we're looking forward to presenting a great opportunity for information," said Wilson.

And this was just the first of a series of political debates scheduled over the next two weeks. And if you miss a live debate, AOC will rebroadcast them the next day.

The following schedule will air on AOC 2 (Cox Channel 16 and LUS Channel 4.)

Wednesday, at 6:00 pm, candidates for House District 96 Terry Landry, Vincent Alexander, Nary Smith, Raymond "Shoe Do" Lewis will attend. Eric Martin and Richard Potier have not yet confirmed attendance.

Wednesday, 7:00 pm, candidates for Senate District 24 Don Cravins Sr., and Kelly J Scott will debate. Elbert Guillory has not yet confirmed attendance.

Thursday, at 6:00 pm, the School Master Plan Voter Initiative is scheduled to air, but is unconfirmed at this time.

Thursday, at 7:00 pm, the City Parish Council Candidates in Districts 1 & 3 Kevin Naquin, Jay Caldwell, Brandon Shelvin and Lloyd Rochon have been invited, but have not yet confirmed attendance.

Next week, on Thursday September 22nd at 6:00 pm Mike Stagg will appear and Joey Durel is scheduled to appear but has not confirmed attendance to debate for the position of Lafayette Parish President.

Then, Thursday at 7:00 pm, on Wrap Up Conversation, State Senator Butch Gautreaux, Porsha Evans, and Stephen Handwerk will discuss the debates and issue endorsements.


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