Congressional Candidates Debate Federal Deficit, Farm Bill

Oct 22, 2012

Two long-shot contenders for Louisiana's Third Congressional District seat were the only candidates to attend a debate Monday at the Baton Rouge Press Club.

Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and Libertarian Jim Stark are both first-time politicians. During the debate they agreed on repealing the Affordable Care Act and scaling back government spending to reign in the federal deficit.

Stark promised to vote "no" on nearly all government spending.

"Any bills that has pork is going to get an automatic no. Any bills that are unconstitutional, there's no money for and they're unnecessary, they're going to get an automatic no," said Stark.

Barilleaux said he wants to cut the deficit by ending the war in Afghanistan and eliminating unnecessary government programs.

The two candidates disagreed on how to approach the farm bill. Stark wants to scrap it altogether, while Barilleaux said he wants to re-write it.

"It has too many issues with energy issues, with food stamp issues that need to be separated out and addressed separately. And I think in that way we can give our farmers a far better consideration," said Barilleaux.

Incumbent Republican Representatives Jeff Landry and Steve Boustany did not attend the debate. The two are forced to run for the same congressional seat due to redistricting. Rob Richard, the lone Democrat in the race, was also absent.