Gov. John Bel Edwards and one of his Republican opponents in this year’s gubernatorial election, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, traded a few barbs at a candidates’ forum today sponsored by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana as part of its annual meeting, NOLA.com reports.
Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, a Republican who is also running for governor, said he had a prior engagement and could not attend the forum. The News Star also reports today that State Sen. Sharon Hewitt has decided not to run, limiting the candidate pool to three.
Edwards, a Democrat, spent most of the PAR forum touting what he characterized as his accomplishments during his first 3 1/2 years in office. He said the state’s economy is in a better place now than it was when he took office in 2016. Louisiana’s rates of incarceration, abortion and the uninsured are all down, he said.
“We see more opportunity than ever right here,” the governor said. “Things are better in Louisiana today—on almost every single front.”
Abraham disagreed, noting that Louisiana is at 49th or 50th on rankings of states when it comes to business climate and education.
“He doesn’t have a government program that he doesn’t think could be bigger. I’m a small government guy,” Abraham said. Read the full story.