Candidates discuss local issues

Although the fate of District 11, which includes Grambling, is unknown, one thing is for sure. It’s going to be in good hands under the leadership of its newest state representative.Incumbent Rick Gallot, Edward Jones and Delores Wilkerson-Smith are all campaigning for the position.

On Monday, the candidates for District 11 participated in a political forum and addressed the issues of the community with questions that were asked with the over 50 people in attendance of the event. The Grambling Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Grambling Homeowners Association hosted the event.

“The debate was very insightful, and it gave the citizens of the community an opportunity to hear the views of the candidates,” Dr. Angelia Weaver of the Political Science Department at Grambling State University said.

Some of the issues addressed dealt with local business production, poverty in District 11 and tax situations of Northern Louisiana. But a great many of the issues were concentrated around Grambling State University. The controversial recent layoffs of GSU employees were also addressed.

When asked what was each of the candidate’s position on the equal rights and pay bill, each of the candidates had a unique response. Gallot said that it has a lot of great ideas but without the adequate votes, nothing can be done.

While Jones stated that women should make as much as men due to the fact that many women may be heads of households themselves.

To end the debate, each candidate was asked to make a three-minute comment. The crowd seemed to be pleased with all of the statements made, including Wilkerson-Smith, who said, “If voted for, you would never regret having me in Baton Rouge.”

“I think the debate went well and it was very informative,” said Grambling Mayor Martha Andrus. “All candidates handled themselves very well and I am pleased with the turnout, as well as the questions asked.

“We have a lot to think about.