Jackson, LA (FOX44) — Candidates for the special congressional election are using every chance they get to impress voters.
Seven of the 14 men who qualified for the race met in Jackson for a forum Thursday night. The forum was hosted by the East Feliciana Democrats, but every candidate was invited, and those who attended belong to three different parties.
They are all running for the 5th Congressional District seat vacated by Rodney Alexander.
One of the candidates who did not attend was one of the favorites to win, State Senator Neil Riser. (R-Columbia).
There have been rumors that Riser got an early head start on his campaign thanks to inside information from Alexander and Governor Jindal, and a couple of his opponents took shots at him Thursday.
"There was a deal made," said Henry Herford, Jr. (L-Delhi). "I'm not going to get into the deal, but it was dirty."
"Sen. Riser said he wasn't going into Washington to make friends," added former congressman Clyde Holloway (R-Forest Hill). "Well, I'm not going to make friends, but you sure better have a few there."
They were joined at the forum by State Rep. Marcus Hunter (D-Monroe), State Rep. Robert Johnson (D-Marksville), Mayor Jamie Mayo (D-Monroe), Vance McAllister (R-Monroe), and Weldon Russell (D-Amite).
The district includes all of West Feliciana Parish and parts of East Feliciana, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa parishes. It stretches from the northeast corner of Louisiana, through the center of the state, to Washington Parish.
The primary election will be held on October 19, and a potential runoff would be November 16.