GOP Congressional Candidates to Debate Issues at Ronald Reagan Luncheon Tuesday

GOP Congressional Candidates to Debate Issues at Ronald Reagan Luncheon Tuesday

The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish is sponsoring a two-hour debate this Tuesday, July 8 among the eight Republican candidates running for Congress from the Sixth District of Louisiana Nov. 4.

Confirmed participants in the two-hour debate are:

• Capt. Bob Bell

• State Sen. Dan Claitor

• Businessman Paul Dietzel II

• Attorney Cassie Felder

• Coastal Protection chairman Garret Graves

• Businessman Craig McCullouch

• Dr. Charles (Trey) Thomas

• State Rep. Lenar Whitney

The event will be held at Drusilla Seafood at 3482 Drusilla Lane.  The reception will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon at 12 noon.  Adjournment is planned for 2 p.m.

Each candidate will have an opening statement of three minutes and a closing statement of one minute.

The question-and-answer period will be a little usual.  Organizers hope to avoid the situation where eight different speakers answer the same question, with the last several speakers taking two or three minutes to say they agree with everything that’s already been said.

Instead, each will be given a set of red, white and blue cards.  Red cards are worth one minute, white cards 30 seconds, and blue cards 15 seconds.  Each candidate will have cards totalling about 10 minutes.

A question will be asked of a specific candidate, and he will have one minute to answer.  Thereafter, any candidate who wants to answer the question will have to spend one of his cards — one minute, 30 seconds, or 15 seconds — or he may decide to pass on that question entirely.  The intended result is to keep the event fast moving and spontaneous.

Questions will come from three groups — Republican officials, members of the media, and registered Republicans in attendance.

Candidates will not have access to the questions in advance.   However, questions must be on policy and cannot involve personal attacks.

Some of those who will ask questions are East Baton Rouge Mayor Pro-Tem Chandler Loup, Advocate Capitol Bureau chief Mark Ballard, Business Report editor Stephanie Riegel, and Republican State Central Committee member Dan Richey.

Capital City News editor Woody Jenkins, who is also Republican Parish chairman, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Louisiana’s open primary for Congress will be held Nov. 4.  Other races on the ballot in East Baton Rouge Parish will include U.S. Senate and numerous state judgeships and school board seats.

A runoff will be held Dec. 6.

In addition to the Republican candidates running for Congress, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has announced his candidacy as a Democrat.  Only Republican candidates are being invited to the debate.

Organizers say they expect a large turnout from the media.

Attentance at the Congressional debate will be limited to about 100.  Each candidate will be limited to bringing six of their campaign workers.

Each candidate will be provided a table to display campaign literature and paraphernalia.

Registration for the event is open to the same three categories as those who will ask questions — Republican officials, members of the media, and registered Republicans.  All attendees, except members of the media, must purchase lunch for $22, which is all-inclusive.  Attendees must bring cash or check.

To make reservations, email    The request should include the person’s name and address and whether he or she is an elected official, a member of the media, or a registered Republican.

For more information, contact



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