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One-on-one with the candidates for governor of Louisiana

Posted: 9:34 PM, Nov 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-14 23:19:51-05

Millions of dollars are still being poured into the contentious runoff election for governor of Louisiana.

There is a lot of national attention on this race, one reason being it is the only remaining governor's election in the country.

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards says we must continue moving forward. Republican businessman Eddie Rispone says it's time for change.

"At the end of my second term," said Edwards, "Our state will continue to make progress and will be better and stronger than we are today."

"It's time. Tax and career politicians have had their change," stated Rispone.

A recent Tweet by the White House shows Louisiana's economy adding 21,000 jobs, unemployment down, wages are up, and the energy industry booming.

When asked because if those changes are because of President Trump or Governor Edwards, Edwards replied, "It's just fact. He's the president, I'm the governor."

"It shows Eddie Rispone has been lying to the people of Louisiana. He has no plan, no vision for this state."

On the topic of Eddie Rispone's plan, some have said he has been very vague.

Risponse said, "You ask what I am going to do...I am going to fix all of it and put people over politics. I am going to create jobs, fix high crime, lawsuit abuse...what else can I tell people?"

At the start of the interview, Rispone wanted to immediately address attack ads targeting him and the president.

"They are running ads that Donald Trump and Eddie Rispone are like David Duke and that is racist, it's insulting to me. Me personally, my wife and I have sponsored over $400,000 in scholarships to low income children that have received an education and they are going to call me a racist? I have done everything I can in the last 12-13 years to ensure that every child gets a quality education."

And speaking of attacks while in office, Governor Edwards came under attack, particularly by women, for signing the fetal heartbeat bill into law. The law bans abortion as early as six weeks.

Edwards explained, "I have always been clear about this my entire life that I am pro-life. My pro-life views tell me medicaid expansion is the right thing to do because there are people now in Louisiana who otherwise would not be here because they had healthcare coverage."

"To the women I say...of the 460,000 people who are now covered, 300,000 are women. 70,000 of those have had breast exams and unfortunately, 800 have been diagnosed, but were diagnosed early."

Medicaid expansion is something Eddie Rispone has objected to repeatedly on the campaign trail, saying as it currently stands, it's unsustainable for the state.

Risponse said his plan is not to freeze, but to get rid of waste and "stop the abuse."

The one thing these two candidates do agree on is the state's economy as their top priority when elected.

Rispone explained his plan is to create 25,000 jobs, most of which will come from community and technical colleges.

"These jobs are going unfilled - nurses, specialty and skilled jobs. I am going to create those and fill those."

Edwards said his priority "is to have the economy continue to grow so the budget can remain stable and continue to make investments we've been making: first teacher pay raise in a decade, first investment into higher ed, and $20 million investment in early childhood education."