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Louisiana gubernatorial candidates face one another in televised debate held at UL

Posted at 10:44 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 15:20:11-04

LAFAYETTE  — Tonight, the second televised debate took place on UL's campus and was aired on LPB. The debate offered discussion on economy, jobs, and policy, and included some heated moments.

A main focal point of tonight's debate was policy, but all three candidates agreed Louisiana needs to improve the economy.

Governor John Bel Edwards campaigned on his track record.

"In the last two years, we have created over 12,000 jobs."

Congressman Ralph Abraham disputes that success, worried jobs are leaving the state.

"We have lost over 60,000 residents."

Businessman Eddie Rispone catered his point on the economy to the audience on campus.

"Lafayette knows it better than anyone...since 2015, you know how many oil and gas jobs we have lost? 26,000. And the governor will not admit that."

A heated moment in the debate came during the discussion of job loss.

Abraham stated that Louisiana is the only state that lost jobs in the last 12 months.

Gov. Edwards responded, "Now that is just a false statement."

Abraham rebutted with, "No, it's not. Now put my time back on that clock."

Rispone says he'll use his business background as governor.

"I know what it takes to create jobs. Our company alone has created thousands of jobs, and it has filled those jobs with Louisiana people through education and training."

Abraham wants to attract more businesses.

"We lower the taxes, we get those lawsuits out of the way, I want these businesses to fight to get in, not get out."

And Governor Edwards says jobs are coming back already - "Jobs are coming back. That's why we have the highest personal income in the history of our state. That's why our economy measured by GDP is the tenth fastest growing in the United States of America."

Early voting starts Saturday.