The two candidates for president of Tangipahoa Parish will square off Thursday evening in a debate sponsored by Hammond’s Second Saturday Breakfast Committee, officials said.
The debate between incumbent Gordon Burgess and challenger Carlos Notariano is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at the city’s African American Heritage Museum.
“We are going to focus our debate on things we think are quality of life issues,” said Lemar Marshall, a member of the committee organizing the debate.
The Second Saturday Breakfast is a community organization that brings various community elements together to talk about issues facing Hammond, co-founder George Perkins has said.
It has been in existence for more than 30 years, Marshall said.
“It’s in a perfect position to have a dialogue about those things that are important to the city of Hammond,” Marshall said, adding that hosting the debate was part of an effort to maintain the relevancy of the group.
“It plays a crucial role in making sure all people in the city have a voice,” he said.
Thursday’s debate will be moderated by Kevin Hill, a state assistant attorney general, Marshall said.
The format will include questions to the candidates and opportunities for each candidate to rebut, he said.
“The moderator will have a lot of leeway in the debate,” Marshall said. “We really want to know how the candidates feel.”
The debate also will have an educational component, Marshall said.
Students from St. Thomas Aquinas, Hammond High School and Ponchatoula High School have been invited to participate in a post-debate discussion in which they will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on the debate, he said.