Candidate says station snubbed him

Democratic 3rd Congressional District candidate Ron Richard, of Lake Charles, opted to skip an interview Monday morning on KPEL 96.5 FM in Lafayette as a protest to the time the radio station gave to the two incumbent congressmen in the race.

KPEL hosted a one-hour debate last week between U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia. But the self-described conservative talk radio station did not invite the only Democrat in the race, Richard, or the other two candidates, Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and Libertarian Jim Stark, both of whom are from Lake Charles.

Richard and the Louisiana Democratic Party both protested the debate, arguing that the other three candidates were not given equal time and alleged that the debate could have violated Federal Election Commission and Federal Communications Commission guidelines.

KPEL offered to interview Richard on Monday morning and he initially agreed. But then he opted to skip it when he learned it would only be a seven-minute segment.

“We told KPEL to jump it,” said Richard, who is a lawyer. “I’ll take what is fair and right and they just didn’t want to do it.”

Richard instead opted to participate on a segment on Soul 770 KJCB AM in Lafayette instead during the same time.

The five candidates are all competing in Tuesday’s open primary election to represent southwestern Louisiana. A runoff election will be Dec. 8 if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

Landry and Boustany are running against each other because of congressional redistricting. The state is losing a congressional seat because of a lack of population growth.