Sep 21, 2011 11:43 PM by Shawn Kline
Another debate and another incumbent doesn't show-up... Again!
A pair of challengers explain why they should be elected in House District 44 without Representative Rickey Hardy.
"Our current representative has actually cut funding," candidate, Roshell Jones said of the district's past four-years.
"Rickey Hardy was the only legislator in the black caucus to support the merger of Southern University (and the University of New Orleans)," Vincent Pierre said of Hardy's past votes.
"We've been ignored by politicians in Baton Rouge." Jones says, "and even our own current state representative."
Representative Rickey Hardy told reporters he supported the SUNO-UNO merger because of a high fail-rate: near 93%.
Hardy however, could not respond because he skipped the debate.
"I cannot speak for Rickey Hardy." Vincent Pierre says, "I can only speak for myself and I'm here to address the voters of this district."
Pierre believes it's his public duty as a candidate to attend Wednesday's debate sponsored by the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce.
"He does not want to be held accountable for some of the questionable votes he's taken," Jones said of Hardy's absence.
Both candidates Vincent Pierre and Roshell Jones explained why they think they're better suited for the job; not only questioning some of Rickey Hardy's votes, but his out-of-office displays like showing up to qualifying sporting some gym equipment.
"(He showed up with) boxing gloves and boxing shorts," Jones recalled. "What I call an embarrassing display."
Hardy says he was just having fun and backs up his absence at the debate, citing a lack of experience among his competition.
"Why would I go to debate someone who has never held a public office?" Hardy asked. "The people know what I stand for, I have a proven track record."
Voters will hit the polls on October 22.