SU NAACP chapter holds candidate forum amid upcoming run-off elections
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Voter turnout among young people has been historically low in Louisiana, but a new push on Southern University’s campus is aiming to change the narrative.
The Southern University Chapter of NAACP hosted a bipartisan forum ahead of next week’s run-off election, where students got a unique opportunity to ask multiple candidates some of their most pressing questions.
The forum featured State Treasurer candidate Dustin Granger, Secretary of State candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup, Attorney General candidate Lindsey Cheek, State House of Representative District 63 Candidate Chauna Banks, and State House of Representative District 63 Incumbent Barbara West Carpenter.
“If there’s ever a time to listen to what young adults want, this is the time,” said Banks.
“There are a lot of things that are urgent and important to Southern University students that they don’t know about. So, our biggest mission is to educate and mobilize students to get out to the polls and also get involved with politics and learn how it affects them and how it impacts them as students even if they are not from here,” said Ashanta K. Gleason, president of the SU Chapter of NAACP.
Perhaps one of the most hotly contested races was at the forefront of the forum between Carpenter and Banks for the District 63 seat.
Banks believes her time as a public servant has benefited the area more than Carpenter’s time in office.
“If we look at what’s been produced, I have a record and my opponent does not,” said Banks.
Probably one of the most controversial parts about the race involved an apparent political ad by Banks that included a quote from Congressman Garret Graves.
The quote appears to offer an endorsement for Banks, Graves made a post on social media and said he has not endorsed or approved the use of any quotes in any legislative race.
“It’s really unfortunate because that is something you don’t do,” said Carpenter.
Banks was willing to discuss her platform and her plan to improve District 63, but she declined to comment about the political ad.
Early voting continues through Saturday, Nov. 11. The polls are open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Polls will be closed Friday, Nov. 10 for Veterans Day.
The general election is Saturday, Nov. 18.
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