U.S. Senate candidates debate for St. Tammany votes

Ashley Rodrigue talks about a debate on the North Shore between five candidates for the state's available senate seat.

MADISONVILLE, La. -- St. Tammany voters heard first hand today how five candidates in the race for U.S. Senate will handle the country's top topics if elected to the position in a month

The cordial conversations spread across the board and included future of federal flood insurance.

"We need to make sure the grandfathering clause stays in place so rates don't skyrocket and I will do whatever I can, as priority, as your next United States Senator that the NFIP is re-authorize in 2017, said candidate Caroline Fayard, a Democrat.

They also debated allowing states to collect internet sales taxes.

"We're going to lose more people, more businesses, just like we always have when we raise taxes to solve our problems," said Louisiana Congressman Dr. John Fleming, a Republican, "The problem is on the spending side."

Louisiana Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany, a Republican, said, "It pits people against people, it creates winners and losers and it's not up to what we need in a 21st Century economy."

The West St. Tammany Chamber forum, featuring the top five polling candidates, hit other hot topics across the country, yet important to Louisiana, including money for roads and bridges.

"If you have to bite the bullet and raise a tax, put it out there, have the courage to do the right thing," said Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democrat, "That's all you need are some politicians with some backbone that will get up and fight for you."

State Treasurer John Kennedy, a Republican, said, "I'm not going to support a tax increase to pay for the FAST Act. I'm not. America doesn't have a revenue problem. Congress has a spending problem."

But in the end, each candidate answered the question of the day, why they should get the job, with confidence.

"I do believe our country has bright days ahead, provided we elect a U.S. Senator that has solutions," said Boustany.

"I've have been a fighter for the people, I have the ability to fight for you in Washington," said Campbell, "I know the job. I can do it right away."

"Frankly, we are in desperate need of not only a new generation of leadership, but a new kind of leader," said Fayard, "Someone with a winning mindset that's going to position us for the future."

"I think we need people who have real world experience and have not been politicians all their lives," said Fleming.

"That's what this election is all about folks," said Kennedy, "You either like where we're going, or you don't."

And the decision is yours.

There are 24 candidates in total running for the senate seat.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.

(© 2016 WWL)


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