Edwards, Vitter agree to first debate of runoff

Gubernatorial candidates Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards and Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter have agreed to their first TV debate of the runoff election.

Edwards’ and Vitter’s campaigns confirmed to Gannett Louisiana Saturday the debate is scheduled at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at The Dunham School in Baton Rouge.

It will be coordinated by Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s WVLA-TV in Baton Rouge and broadcast statewide.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting has also set Nov. 10 as the date for its planned statewide TV debate, but the candidates haven’t yet confirmed.

Edwards has said he will make himself available for the LPB debate if Vitter confirms. Edwards said he’s open to more debates if Vitter is willing and the schedule allows, but there are just three weeks until the Nov. 21 election.

Vitter was criticized by his opponents during the primary election as a debate dodger, appearing in two of six TV debates. But Vitter, who said business in Washington, D.C., prevented him from attending more of the TV debates, has said he’s willing to participate in multiple debates in the runoff.

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