MONROE, La. (KNOE/WAFB) - The final debate in the Louisiana governor's race is in the books.
Ralph Abraham, Governor John Bel Edwards, and Eddie Rispone are all running to be the next governor of Louisiana. (Source: WAFB)
KNOE and Gray Television stations across Louisiana are hosting the final debate Wednesday, Oct. 9.
Governor John Bel Edwards, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, and businessman Eddie Rispone took the stage.
The candidates clashed on a number of issues, including the direction of the state and how best to handle the state's surplus in funds. The candidates also accused each other of airing unfair attack ads and dug into each other's pasts.
Eddie Rispone took heat from the governor for a campaign donation he made to former Governor Bobby Jindal, which he did acknowledge, but said wasn't a big contribution. Edwards has framed a vote for Rispone as a vote for a return to the ways of Jindal.
Meanwhile, Ralph Abraham defended against what he says were out of context-attack ads about him voting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on what he says were bi-partisan issues. He said many of those votes were for things like naming bridges and post offices.
Governor Edwards found himself explaining to the panelist why he hired Johnny Anderson amid claims of sexual misconduct, saying once he found out about the accusations he was fired from his staff.
Once the smoke cleared, all three candidates said they thought they had successfully pleaded their case for Louisiana's voters.
"The case for the voters has been made over the year," Edwards said. "No one needs to tell them that they're better off, that their state is better off. No one needs to tell them that we're investing in higher education because they know it."
"I truly care about this state, and that's the only reason I'm in this race," Abraham said. "I've got grandkids that I want to grow up here and not go to Texas or some foreign country.. I want them to stay in Louisiana."
"I'm really just trying to get the message out," Rispone said. "I'm not a career politician. I'm the only one who's not a politician here. And I'm the only one who's a job creator. So I'm just trying to get my message out there to them."
The candidates also agreed on a few issues as well. All three said they were against the legalization of recreational marijuana in Louisiana. All three candidates appeared to agree on the issue of abortion, saying they are against allowing abortion in Louisiana.
Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 12.