Edwards, Rispone square off in only Louisiana runoff debate

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FILE -In this Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 fikle photo, Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone speaks at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Lake Charles, La. Rispone is asking Louisiana voters to choose him in the November runoff election without telling them much about what he wants to do if he wins the job. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — (10/30/19) Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his Republican opponent Eddie Rispone are readying for the lone head-to-head debate ahead of the Nov. 16 runoff election.

The Deep South’s only Democratic governor has sought to square off with his GOP challenger at multiple events, but Rispone has refused all but one matchup.

That one debate happens Wednesday night in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana Public Broadcasting studio.

Edwards is seeking a second term against an onslaught of national GOP efforts to oust him. He’s accusing Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman, of ducking public events to avoid telling voters what he’ll do in office.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat seeking a second term in office, criticizes his Republican opponent Eddie Rispone’s proposal to “freeze” enrollment in the state’s Medicaid expansion program, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Rispone has sought to nationalize the race, tying himself repeatedly to President Donald Trump. President Trump remains popular in Louisiana and has endorsed Rispone.

Early voting begins Saturday.

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