Since the mid-1990s, CABL and Louisiana Public Broadcasting have partnered on well over a dozen statewide, television debates in major races from governor, to U.S. Senator to major congressional contests.
This year we’re teaming up again to sponsor a televised debate in the hotly-contested U.S. Senate race. Incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, 6th District Congressman Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness have all received formal invitations. As always, candidates are invited based on very modest criteria which include standing in independent polls and campaign fundraising and spending. All three candidates have met those criteria.
This year’s debate will be held in Shreveport on October 14th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. It will be televised statewide on the LPB network of stations in every media market in the state and will also be available for later viewing online at
Over the years, the CABL/LPB debates have built a tradition of adding substance and context to the election dialogue by producing debates that focus on providing voters more insight into the critical issues that affect our state. Now more than ever, with unrest in many parts of the world, continuing economic issues at home, and thorny issues surrounding diverse matters like health care, infrastructure, Medicare and Social Security, it is important for voters to have opportunities to gain insight into the views of the candidates. We hope to provide that in this and a future runoff debate.
In addition, this year’s election is complicated by the fact that Louisiana is a key swing state in the battle for party control of the U.S. Senate. With millions of dollars pouring into the state from outside groups, the likelihood is increased that the election will be overly influenced by negative and often misleading advertising that tends to obscure the real issues at stake.
It is our goal with this debate to help cut through that noise and provide some additional clarity in where candidates stand on the issues that are of most concern to voters. Debates should be about civil and open discourse, but they should also provide an opportunity for candidates to address critical issues in a way that is responsible and in the spirit of true democracy. That much they owe us and that’s what we hope to provide.