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Jeff Landry declines Gray Television debate invitation


Jeff Landry declines Gray Television debate invitation

Sep 22, 2023 | 3:43 pm ET
By Greg LaRose
Jeff Landry declines Gray Television debate invitation
Attorney General Jeff Landry, pictured with his wife, Sharon, speaks to reporters after qualifying for the governor’s race Aug. 9, 2023, at the Louisiana State Archives building in Baton Rouge. (Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator)

Frontrunning candidate Jeff Landry has officially opted out of the next event slated for statewide TV, making it more than likely he will have made just one appearance alongside his competitors in the governor’s race in a debate or public forum before the Oct. 14 primary.  

The Republican attorney general’s absence leaves just two candidates in Tuesday night’s debate that airs on Gray Television’s Louisiana stations. The company set a 5% support threshold for candidates to participate based on its own poll of 625 voters conducted last month by telephone. 

It showed Landry with 40% backing, Democrat Shawn Wilson with 24% and Republican Stephen Waguespack with 9%. Missing the cut were independent Hunter Lundy (4%) and Republicans John Schroder (3%) and Sharon Hewitt (2%). Richard Nelson, the GOP state lawmaker who dropped out of the race this week, polled 1% support.

The Gray Television debate takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday and will air on its stations in New Orleans (WVUE), Baton Rouge (WAFB), Shreveport (KSLA), Alexandria (KALB), Lake Charles (KPLC) and Monroe (KNOE). 

The lone debate-format event Landry has participated alongside the other candidates was the Nexstar Television debate a week ago. It took place in Lafayette, where Landry lives.

Louisiana Public Television will host the final televised debate Thursday.

Other governor candidates try to put Jeff Landry in the hot seat in his first debate

Correction: The story was updated to explain that Landry has taken part in just one debate-format event in which he appeared alongside other candidates in the governor’s race.