BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Democrat Troy Carter won Saturday’s special election for Louisiana’s vacant U.S. House seat, defeating his state Senate colleague and ending an acrimonious, intraparty clash.
Carter is known more for his ability and willingness to work across party lines, while Peterson is more overtly partisan in her approach. She suggested Carter cozied up to Republicans to boost his campaign, while he said Peterson’s dogmatic approach damaged her ability to pass legislation.
“In order to get things done, they need to send someone to Washington who can build bridges, not walls, that can establish relationships that mean something, not kick rocks because you don’t get your way, not spew lies because you’re losing,” Carter said in a debate. “Listen, I’ve demonstrated a willingness to work with people.”
Both candidates backed an increase in the minimum wage, the legalization of recreational marijuana and abortion rights. They supported changes in how police agencies and public safety are funded and approached, though Peterson went further saying she backed a “complete restructuring.”
Both Carter and Peterson said they support the idea of “Medicare for All.” But while Peterson fully embraced shifting to a government-run, single-payer plan, Carter said he’d like people to have the option of retaining employer-financed coverage.
Carter hammered Peterson for suggesting she helped establish Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion program, which was started by Gov. John Bel Edwards and required no legislation. He noted that when she was head of the Democratic Party, she discouraged Edwards from running for governor.
In addition to Richmond’s endorsement, Carter had backing from No. 3 House Democratic leader James Clyburn of South Carolina, New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams and every Black member of the state Senate besides Peterson.
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