Race for Governor: Wilson, Waguespack set to take debate stage in New Orleans

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 12:01 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 12:50 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - With the primary election just around the corner, two candidates in the race for Louisiana’s governor are set to take the stage in a statewide Gray TV debate.

The debate is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, from 7-8 p.m. at the University of New Orleans.

Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, a Democrat, and Stephen Waguespack, a Republican and president of one of the state’s most influential business groups, will step into the spotlight.

In a recent Gray TV poll of 625 registered Louisiana voters, respondents highlighted the economy, crime, and healthcare as the top issues of concern. The debate will provide a platform for the candidates to address pressing topics and share their visions for the state’s future.

The debate will be broadcast across the state, airing on the top television stations in each market; WAFB in Baton Rouge, KSLA in Shreveport, KNOE in Monroe, KPLC in Lake Charles, KALB in Alexandria, and KADN in Lafayette.

The debate will be moderated by John Snell, with a panel of four Gray TV journalists.

Republican frontrunner Attorney General Jeff Landry declined an invitation to participate in the debate.

Fox 8 political analyst Mike Sherman calls Landry’s decision to not participate in the debate, which will air in every TV market in the state, “disappointing.” He says it’s not surprising, since Landry has a dominant lead in all of the polls and there’s no “strategic advantage” for him to take part in the debate and risk making a gaffe that could hurt his campaign.


Majority of Louisiana residents oppose the state’s abortion law, poll finds

Gray TV poll shows Landry leading in primary

Governor John Bel Edwards had previously announced his endorsement for Wilson. Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced his endorsement for Landry. State Rep. Richard Nelson, who initially vied for Louisiana’s gubernatorial seat, has withdrawn from the race and endorsed Landry. The Times-Picayune endorsed Waguespack.

To qualify for the debate, candidates needed to register 5% or higher in the Gray-commissioned poll. Only Landry, Wilson, and Waguespack met the criteria.

Additional candidates on the ballot include Independent Hunter Lundy, Republican Sharon Hewitt, and Republican John Schroder.

The primary election will be held on Oct. 14.

Click here to report a typo.