All three candidates for Louisiana governor will participate in the first televised debate of the race later this month, when they will square off in LSU's Student Union Theater and face questions from students and local TV anchors, LSU said Tuesday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, will face off with his two Republican challengers, Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham, on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m., and the debate will be broadcast live on TV and on radio statewide. The debate was previously announced but LSU released more details about the event Tuesday.
The LSU Manship School's Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and Nextstar, home to Baton Rouge's WVLA NBC 33 and WGMB Fox 44, are hosting the debate. WVLA anchor Fred Childers will moderate the debate alongside anchors Chad Sabadie, an adjunct professor at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication, and Jacque Jovic, LSU said.
The candidates will also face questions about education, the economy, infrastructure and other issues from students at LSU's Manship School.
Attendance is free, but guests must register online and present a ticket and valid photo ID to get into the debate, LSU said.
Two other televised debates are planned for the governor's race, which is one of only three gubernatorial elections in the U.S. this year. Louisiana Public Broadcasting and Council for a Better Louisiana will co-host the second debate Sept. 26 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. On Oct. 9, three days before the primary election, Gray Television will host a debate in Shreveport.
The Lafayette debate, at 7 p.m. on the University of Louisiana-Lafayette campus, will be moderated by Beth Courtney, the president of LPB, and Barry Erwin, head of CABL, along with a panel of journalists.
Jayne Ruben, news director at KSLA in Shreveport, said the details are still being worked out for the Oct. 9 debate, but it will be held at the KSLA station.
Abraham and Edwards have also confirmed they will participate in a forum at the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Sept. 23. Rispone has been invited, according to the press club website.
If no candidate wins more than 50% in the Oct. 12 primary, the top two vote-getters will advance to a Nov. 16 runoff.