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3rd Congressional District candidates’ forum airs on KATC

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 21:42:27-04

Candidates running to represent Louisiana’s Third Congressional District met in forum on Thursday, October 22, 2020. It began at 7 p.m. in the Moncus Theatre at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The event was broadcast live on KATC-TV, katc.com, and KATC’s over-the-top applications. Re-broadcasts will happen at times to be determined on AOC Community Media.

If you missed the debate, it can be viewed in full below:

Three of the four candidates committed to participating: Rob Anderson (D-Sulphur), Braylon Harris (D-Lake Charles), and Brandon LeLeux (L-Lake Charles). The fourth candidate, incumbent Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette), declined to participate, saying his record speaks for itself. He has, however, promised to participate in a debate on KATC if there should be a run-off. Read his full statement below.

KATC anchor Jim Hummel moderated the forum. All of the questions posed to the candidates concerned issues that are pertinent to the Third Congressional District and its residents. The candidates did not have access to the questions beforehand.

Because of coronavirus concerns, the theatre was closed to the general public.

This forum was a joint production of KATC, the Acadiana Center for the Arts, AOC Community Media, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Liberal Arts.

"We hope every candidate for office understands the role that our government can play in directly improving the quality of life through its support for arts and culture,” Samuel Oliver, executive director of the Acadiana Center for the Arts said. “Right now, the arts are so much more critical than ever. Not only will they be part of the recovery economy but also part of the healing that we need as communities—a healing that happens only when we come together in person."

Full statement from Rep. Clay Higgins:

"Thank you for the invitation to attend KATC's candidate forum. As a candidate in 2016, I participated in many forums. This era of COVID-19 restrictions on actual gatherings has no doubt impacted every unknown candidate's ability to communicate their intended views and stances on important issues. In my case, four years of actual Congressional service and voting record make my own positions clear for the people of Louisiana. It is good, that my friends at KATC will attempt to help unknown candidates with no voting record state their own case. If the voting constituents of Louisiana's 3rd District push one of the candidates into a runoff with me, I will most certainly debate any candidate one-on-one at any venue. That’s a debate. What you’re attending before Election Day is an introductory forum.

My focus is on official duties, serving South Louisiana constituents, and delivering maximum recovery for those impacted by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. We are working around the clock on these efforts. I extend sincere best wishes for every candidate attempting to explain their own platform. Good luck. My record of service is well-known. I stand upon my four-year voting record, my televised service on Congressional Committees, countless public statements, hundreds of hours of candid media interviews, and four years of actual constituent services across the 3rd District. My positions are clear. Our message of Constitutionalist, Conservative principles is solid. I will continue to communicate these stances directly to the citizens of South Louisiana. I respect any individual who seeks public service. Candidate forums are excellent opportunities for first-time candidates to introduce themselves and their message to voters. I hope that your event is successful to that end. If I can be of service to you in my official capacity, please let me know."

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