Education, rebuilding efforts, insurance and healthcare seem to be the main concerns for the people of Louisiana, but are these the same issues of the gubernatorial candidates?
With the Oct. 20 election approaching, the top four contenders, Congressman Bobby Jindal-R, State Senator Walter Boasso-D, member of Louisiana Public Service Commission Foster Campbell-D and businessman John Georges, an independent runner, have been campaigning throughout Louisiana to share what they will do for the state if they are elected. Jindal, however, has been a no-show at many of the gubernatorial debates, and voters are beginning to take notice.
Lenniere Victorian, a Gentilly business owner, said that she does not want to vote for someone that she does not know, because there is not a feeling of trust. Victorian said that she believes that Jindal is saying what the people want to hear, especially with the murder rate up in the state and the unsatisfactory healthcare.
Jindal has expressed his concerns about violence, healthcare insurance, corrupt politics and education in his Fresh Start Plan for Louisiana. Jindal said that he wants to bring positive changes to the state in all of these areas.
In spite of Jindal’s plans, State Senator Walter Boasso, a democratic candidate, is one of the front-runners who continuously attacks Jindal and his credibility. Some of Boasso’s main concerns are insurance reform and education. In his advertisements, Boasso says that he wants to take a stand for the people of Louisiana.
“Most of the ads I’ve seen for [Boasso] have attacked Jindal the majority of the time and only talks about his issues briefly. It’s like he cares more about attacking [Jindal’s] character than what the people of Louisiana need,” said LaBria Trufant, an Uptown New Orleans resident.
Some have said that they do feel as though Boasso does have a slight advantage because he is familiar to the citizens in the southern region of Louisiana.
“A lot of people know Boasso as well and are probably looking for him to be in a run-off with Jindal for the seat,” said Victorian.
Another democratic candidate who is familiar to voters in the northern region of Louisiana is Foster Campbell.
According to Campbell’s official website, he wants to “eliminate the state income tax, allowing Louisianians to pocket $3.1 billion each year instead of paying it to the state treasury.” Campbell is also in support of continuing the LaCHIP, Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“I’ve never even heard of Campbell, but I like the fact that he wants to do something to actually give back to the people of this state,” said Chantal Williams, a senior public health administration major from California.
Businessman John Georges, an independent runner, has stated that he has views that address both Democratic and Republican concerns.
“The good thing about running [as an] independent is that he will be able to [address] issues that concern a lot of people. But I don’t know many, if any, people who haven’t run Democratic or Republican that win elections,” said Williams.
Georges’ campaign platform focuses on speeding up the recovery efforts, re-establishing the plan for hurricane protection and restoration, supplying better health insurance and providing better education in Louisiana.
“I like the fact that he wants to supply more jobs for people. It seems like he wants to look out for the regular people, and I don’t feel that all the candidates are doing that,” said Victorian.
Georges also wants to bring a harsher punishment against sex offenders, re-establish the ethics laws for officials, launch a tax reform, better transportation to have more efficient streets, highways and freeway and allow homeowners better insurance coverage. Many of his ideas are outlined in The Georges Plan for Louisiana.
Voters will have one final opportunity to hear from Jindal, Boasso, Campbell, and Georges in a televised debate scheduled to air Oct. 18.