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Mayor-president candidate accuses opponent of avoiding debates

Posted at 9:36 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 02:02:39-04

Voters in Lafayette Parish may not have a chance to see the mayor-president candidates face off in a debate.

At least five groups have reached out to both Carlee Alm-LaBar, no party, and Republican Josh Guillory, but, as of now, there is nothing scheduled.

There have been a few scheduling conflicts, but Alm-LaBar believes schedules have nothing to do with it.

"I think that my opponent is maybe making the assumption that folks who voted in the primary voted along party lines, and we're assuming that voters wanted to vote for the best candidate," said Alm-LaBar.

In a Facebook post, Alm-LaBar accuses Guillory of avoiding any forum or debate during the runoff, saying, "He's turned them all down or been unable to find a date he can participate."

"My opponent, you know, he's an attorney, and he has plenty of experience talking to folks and speaks very well, so I think that there shouldn't be any reason that we don't have this forum," said Alm-LaBar.

The Kiwanis Club of Lafayette tells KATC they have reached out to Guillory's campaign several times, but no one has responded.

The Lafayette Bar Association had a forum scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, but it was canceled because of Guillory's "scheduling conflict."

A spokesperson for the group says it's unlikely they will try to reschedule.

The Lafayette chapter of the Louisiana Engineering Society and the Acadiana Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers scheduled a forum for Wednesday, Oct. 23.

According to a spokesperson for the Louisiana Engineering Society, Guillory's campaign canceled his appearance on Friday, Oct. 18 because of a "court appointment."

Alm-LaBar showed up Wednesday and spoke to a group of about 50 people.

KPEL was hoping to hold a forum Thursday, Nov. 14, but their spokesperson says they canceled because both candidates weren't available that day.

One Acadiana is still hoping to host a debate. They have Alm-LaBar's availability. Guillory's campaign was given the deadline of noon on Thursday, Oct. 24 to provide his availability.

KATC reached out to Guillory for an interview, but his campaign manager said he was busy.

Alm-LaBar is hoping a forum is finalized soon because she believes it's crucial voters hear from her and Guillory since the race is now down to two.

"We're both trying to draw a distinction, and I'm the best qualified candidate in the race," explained Alm-LaBar. "I have the most experience and the ability to get the job done, starting Day 1."