Debate canceled in Louisiana’s US Senate runoff

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The Latest on Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

The two candidates vying for Louisiana’s U.S. Senate seat are blaming each other for the cancellation of the only debate ahead of the Dec. 10 runoff.

WVLA-TV’s news director, Gary Wordlaw, said Tuesday his station won’t be hosting the debate planned for Dec. 2 between Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy and Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

Wordlaw says Kennedy didn’t want to have the debate in front of a live audience. He says Campbell wouldn’t agree to participate without a live audience.

With the two campaigns at an impasse, the debate was shelved.

Campbell’s campaign announced the debate cancellation Tuesday and blamed Kennedy, saying its Republican rival was “ducking and dodging.”

Kennedy’s side accused Campbell of being at fault. Kennedy’s campaign says it “requested an environment free of distractions.”

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3:25 p.m.

The only debate scheduled in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate runoff has been canceled.

WVLA’s news director, Gary Wordlaw, said Tuesday his station won’t be hosting the televised debate planned between Democrat Foster Campbell and Republican John Kennedy.

Wordlaw says Kennedy, the state treasurer, didn’t want to have the debate in front of a live audience. He says Campbell, a member of the Public Service Commission, wouldn’t agree to participate without a live audience.

With the two campaigns at an impasse, the Dec. 2 debate was scrapped.

Wordlaw says the two sides wouldn’t even agree to talk to WVLA at the same time to try and reach a compromise.

The runoff election is Dec. 10. Other planned debates were canceled because the TV station hosts couldn’t get both candidates to participate.

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3 p.m.

Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race runoff may happen without a single debate between the two candidates.

Democrat Foster Campbell and Republican John Kennedy each agreed to two TV debates ahead of the Dec. 10 election. But only one was the same – and now it’s unclear if that debate will occur as scheduled.

Campbell’s campaign announced Tuesday that the Dec. 2 debate to be hosted by WVLA-TV and broadcast on Nexstar stations around the state had been canceled. Campbell blamed Kennedy, saying the state treasurer refused to debate in front of a live audience.

Campbell, a member of the Public Service Commission, issued a statement saying: “Mr. Kennedy is so weak he won’t even debate me.”

Kennedy’s campaign and WVLA’s news director, Gary Wordlaw, didn’t immediately respond to Campbell’s claims Tuesday.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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