BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you could characterize the crowd in the room at the Old Governor's Mansion Wednesday, you could say the Lt. Governor's candidates were "preaching to the choir."
In the standing room only crowd, there were directors of museums from across South Louisiana and tourism officials from cities like New Orleans and towns like St. Martinville.
The Lieutenant Governor is in charge of managing state parks and Louisiana's tourism effort. He is the way tourist stops, many of them non-profit, are able to get state funding, and in the current budget climate, cuts have been the norm.
That's why a panel from the tourism/historic preservation ranks posed tough questions about how a candidate would act as Lieutenant Governor on their behalf.
On the hot seats, three out of the four declared candidates: State Senator Elbert Guillory of St. Landry Parish, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden and Jefferson Parish President John Young. Former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungessor was not at the forum.
WAFB's Donna Britt moderated the forum and led the panel to present 10 questions with controlled, two minute answers from the candidates. There were moments of humor, but also of earnest admissions that it's a tough time to be Louisiana's leading Tourism Defender.
Panelists to ask the questions were: Danielle Fontenette, a Main Street Program Manager for the City of St. Martinville, Michael Echols, a developer of historic properties and also Chair of the La. State Arts Council, Gene Meneray of Citizens for the Arts and the Arts Council of New Orleans and Doug Cochran, a Baton Rouge attorney who's chair of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana.
We have the uncut 2 minute closing remarks of the three candidates online.