Lt. Governor forum gets heated over use of racial slur in commercial

Lt. Governor forum gets heated over use of racial slur in commercial

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Warning: Some viewers may find the racial language quoted in this story offensive. 

A candidate forum for Louisiana's next lieutenant governor took an ugly and racial turn Thursday as the two black candidates went after each other over the use of the racial term "nigger."

Leaders with Vision hosted the forum and WAFB's Matt Williams, a member of the media panel, asked candidate Elbert Guillory, who is an African-American, about his use of the racial slur in one of his videos called "Let's Talk About Race."

Guillory said the video was meant to get people past race. Candidate Kip Holden, who is also African-American, said he was offended by the video.

"I was appalled," Holden said. "You know, we stand up and we don't want anybody to call us niggers and yet you have a candidate in this race who called black people niggers."

Elbert Guillory responded directly to Holden calling him by his first name.

"Kip, only an idiot who had not seen my commercial would've made the comment that you made," Guillory said.

Once the forum continued, the candidates talked about their views of promoting the state to visitors and film tax credits. One of the lieutenant governor's primary responsibilities is to promote Louisiana to tourist.

The candidates, Jefferson Parish President John Young, former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden and State Senator Elbert Guillory each handled the question: If something were to happen, are you ready to become governor?

"So I've operated a large government," said Young. "I've been in charge of a large government and I've been an attorney in private practice and a small business owner. I have the skill set to step in as necessary to do the job."

"It is my intention to be completely engaged and up-to-date on everything that's going on in Louisiana, active involved so that if the governor goes down I'm ready," said Guillory.

"The bottom line is, I have the training in order to step in but I will not be selfish and I'll include people and talk to people so everybody can help shape the new Louisiana under the new administration," said Holden.

"I'm very well qualified to do whatever the governor called me to do in emergencies, economic development, anything else," said Nungesser. "I'm accustomed to rolling up my sleeves and doing the heavy lifting and let me do some work to help the state get back on track."

The primary election will be held on October 24.

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