Election 2019 Louisiana Governor (copy)

From left, Eddie Rispone, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham participated in the first televised gubernatorial debate.

The second televised debate in the 2019 governor’s race will be broadcast live statewide, beginning 7 p.m. Thursday on Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

The hour-long debate will take place on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is sponsored by Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the Council for a Better Louisiana.

Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards is seeking a second term as the only Democratic chief executive in the Deep South. His top two Republican challengers are U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, of Alto, and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.

Early voting begins Saturday and continues through the following Saturday, Oct. 5. The primary election day is Oct. 12 and if no one candidates gets more than half the vote, the top two vote-getters will meet in a Nov. 16 runoff.

LPB president Beth Courtney and CABL executive director Barry Erwin and a panel of journalists will moderate. Debate moderators Beth Courtney, President of LPB, and Barry Erwin, President of CABL will be joined by a panel of journalists who will pose questions to the candidates. Journalists are: Mark Ballard, The Advocate; Greg Hilburn, USA Today Network; and Natasha Williams, LPB. Candidate-to-candidate questions will also be allowed.

“For 40 years, LPB has presented live candidate debates as an essential part of the democratic process. It is important for voters to hear from the candidates for governor in a candid forum where they can answer questions and explain their positions on vital issues,” Courtney said.

Erwin added, “It’s our hope with this forum to focus on issues that are of importance to the state and give citizens a chance to hear straight from the candidates about their positions and what their priorities will be if elected.”

The debate will be broadcast in New Orleans on WYES-TV and WLAE-TV, WLPB in Baton Rouge, KLPB in Lafayette and streamed live at LPB.org.