Candidates square off in KNOE debate for Louisiana’s Congressional Dist. 5 runoff

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:32 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Gray Television station KNOE hosted a televised debate for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District runoff race. You can watch it here.

The debate was between Republican candidates Luke Letlow and Lance Harris. Letlow received 33% of votes, while Harris received 17% of votes in the November 3rd election.

The two squared off in a fierce exchange to convince voters before next month’s runoff election.

“There’s a reason that I lead my opponent by more than 50,000 votes and that’s because of my record. That’s because I’ve gotten things done, worked hard and I want to bring jobs to this district. I’ll work with anybody that’ll help us succeed, but most importantly and this is the key difference between me and my opponent, I listened,” Letlow said.

“You can select somebody that’s done nothing but be a politically appointment government employee and lobbyist that doesn’t have the life experiences that should go with the job as congressman, or you can select someone that’s a small businessman, that’s a farmer, that’s created hundreds of jobs and put hundreds of families to work,” Harris said.

We asked the two what were their thoughts about a potential second lockdown and a mask mandate amid growing concerns related to COVID-19. More than 200,000 people statewide have tested positive for the virus so far.

“Listen, you have to exercise common sense and listen to what the government is telling you to keep you and your family safe. It’s very important, but we have to have an economy,” Harris said.

“We have to make sure our economy gets back open. We have to learn how to live in a COVID world. Other nations have learned how to do that and they’ve done so safely and we have to continue to do that,” Letlow said.

The candidates were also asked what they’d do to bring jobs and business to the state and district 5.

“We’re producing good products, manufacturing jobs and that’s the answer. You obviously have to have a good education. A child with a good education can do anything and we have to make sure those needs are being met,” Letlow said.

“We have to make sure we continue to do the good things we’re doing in Louisiana with the community college system, the four year system, and we have to make sure we have those private public partnerships that work to bring people to Louisiana to employ all the resources we have,” Harris said.

After a back and forth exchange, this was their final pitch before people head back to the polls.

“Washington’s full of politicians. We don’t need that anymore. Washington is the problem. Send me there and I’ll fight for you,” Harris said.

“It’s been a tough year. 2020 has been a challenge like no other. At the end of the day I’m running for congress because I want to help the district move forward,” Letlow said.

Election Day is Saturday, December 5th, 2020.

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