LSU hosts La. Secretary of State candidate forum

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Four of the six Secretary of State candidates who spoke at Monday’s forum were (l-r) former State Sen. A. G. Crowe; State Rep. Rick Edmonds; Renée Fontenot Free, who served as a top aide to two former secretaries of state; and Rep. Julia Stokes. (Photo Credit: Abbie Shull/LSU Manship News Service)

Published: Oct. 30, 2018

By: Abbie Shull and Madeline Reineke, LSU Manship News Service

Six of the nine candidates in the race attended the forum at LSU’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs. It was part of LSU’s Behind the Ballot symposium, a two-day event featuring a variety of panels on voting and the 2018 midterm elections.

Five of the six candidates for Louisiana Secretary of State found common ground in a forum Monday evening as they each tried to shake interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s perceived confidence in his incumbency.

There was little hostility between panelists since they were not allowed to address each other directly. But, a few managed to sneak in some indirect jabs with just over a week to go until the Nov. 6 election.

Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, said he was displeased with Ardoin’s leadership as it relates to local election officials, like the registrars of voters and the clerks of court.

“I’ve met with many of them across the state, and I was surprised to ask them some very simple questions about the administration,” Edmonds said. “For example: ‘When was the last time the Secretary of State was in your office?’ And the answer I received numerous times was ‘never.’”

Read more in the Gonzales Weekly Citizen.

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