LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) -It's just one week before the August 28th election when voters go to the polls for the open primary election.
It will decide the Republican and Democratic nominees for U.S. Senate. Two main contenders in the contest were both in Lake Charles today.
It's not yet officially a two man race, but by all appearances the contest seems to be mostly between Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter and Democratic challenger Congressman Charlie Melancon. Both were at the annual Legis Gator lunch at L'auberge a major event for business people and elected officials. Both find themselves embroiled in what seems to be an increasingly negative campaign--just Thursday Melancon says Vitter mocked he and his wife's 38th wedding anniversary." I would like to run and have debates with Mr. Vitter on the issues and have questions from the audience that weren't prearranged and screened. And I'd like to have that kind of meaningful debate, but Mr. Vitter would rather just hide behind lies and innuendo and mocking people who have honored the tradition of marriage."
Vitter campaign officials say he will not respond to what they call attacks from opponents only what they consider real issues . "There is a strong contrast between my record, my votes and my opponent's, Charlie Melancon. Whether it's his voting for all the bailouts and the Obama stimulus and the Obama budget that triples the debt, my opposing all that; whether it's his supporting and voting for benefits for illegals, my fighting that tooth and nail," said Vitter as Republican Women opened a new campaign headquarters on Ryan Street.
As they went before business leaders at Legis Gator the candidates stuck to the issues. Said Vitter, "Business, job creators, entrepreneurs, investors, people who can grow the economy are under assault." Melancon told them, "We've got deficits, we've got to get them under control. We again went back got pay go put back in the statutory law, says you can't spend it if you don't have it."
The open primary is Saturday August 28th.
Besides Vitter, candidates running on the Republican ballot are Nick Accardo and Chet Traylor. You have to be republican to vote on that ballot.
In the Democratic primary, Melancon faces Neeson Chauvin and Cary Deaton..
There's also a Libertarian Party primary.. Anthony Gentile faces Randall Todd Hayes. Non affiliated voters can vote in the Democratic or Libertarian Party Primaries.