GOP candidates speak at Franklinton event

A crowd of Republican candidates for state, district, and parish offices jammed into the 1010 Club on Bene Street this past Saturday as part of a ‘Meet the Candidates’ event.

Sponsored by the Washington Parish Republican Executive Committee, the event attracted voters from throughout the parish. Organizers were sent scrambling to find additional chairs when attendance exceeded expectations.

Each of the candidates was given a brief period to introduce themselves to the crowd and to talk a bit about their plans, if elected, or in some cases, if re-elected. The top draws appeared to be the two Republican candidates for governor, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge industralist Eddie Rispone. Abraham currently represents Washington Parish in Congress as part of his wide-spread district. Abraham and Rispone are seeking to defeat incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat from Amite who’s running for his second term.

Other major candidates attending included Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon. They are all seeking re-election this year. Donelon’s fellow Republican opponent, Tim Temple, also spoke.

District candidates speaking included State Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton, and Larry Frieman and Phillipp Bedwell. Frieman, of St. Tammany Parish, is seeking election to House District 74, while Bedwell is seeking election to House District 75.

Three Republican candidates for Washington Parish Council also spoke. Joe Culpepper is running in District 1, Shawn Rice is running in District 2, and Councilman Rusty Fornea is seeking re-election in District 5. Two candidates for a special judgeship election also spoke. Both Jay Adair and Julie Knight are seeking election for the 22nd Judicial District’s Division F seat.