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Nungesser and Young defend attack ads


The frontrunners in the race for lieutenant governor both like their chances.

"I feel great, you know, we're polling every night, a tracking poll, and we feel like we're going to be in the runoff,” said Billy Nungesser.

"We have the momentum. The polls show we're ahead,” said John Young.

But of late, the tenor of the campaign has turned ugly with the airing of some campaign ads by both camps. Nungesser claims John Young went nasty first.

"Six months ago, the four of us in Baton Rouge agreed we weren't going to do negative, and John Young lied and broke that promise when he went negative this past weekend,” said Nungesser.

Young said nothing could be further from the truth.

"He has attacked me several times in forums, he's attacked me first. I'm not going to be bullied. I don't tolerate bullies - he picked on the wrong person,” said Young.

In a recent TV ad, Young highlights that Nungesser was sued in 1997 by a former male employee who worked for Nungesser in the private sector. The suit alleged sexual harassment. The plaintiff has since recanted, and on Oct. 14, 2015, he signed an affidavit, which reads: “The lawsuit was filed because I was upset over my separation from my employer. All allegations contained in the Petition were untrue and did not occur. I completely support William “Billy” H. Nungesser for Lieutenant Governor.”

Nungesser calls it a disgrace that his opponent is airing the ad referencing the suit.

"To continue to run that ad when he knows that's a lie,” Nungesser said of his opponent.

Young stands by his decision.

"It's interesting that Mr. Soto signed it yesterday, or the day before. It's also interesting that when he filed his lawsuit against my opponent and made those serious allegations, he verified that petition and attested that all of the allegations in that petition were true and correct,” said Young.

Young is Jefferson Parish President.

Nungesser’s ad accuses Young of trying to cover up a sexual harassment claim brought against a former administration staffer which resulted in a $200,000 settlement.  

Young said Nungesser is distorting the facts.

"That is completely false because we brought in - at the recommendation of our attorneys - outside investigators who did a report. A report was issued, the individual who was allegedly committing these acts resigned, and it was all out in the public. That is an example of how desperate he is,” said Young.

"He threw the first stone and he's going to have to leave with the truth, and he tried to cover up a sexual harassment suit, got caught and settled with $200,000 in tax payers' money,” said Nungesser.

The attack ads aside, both believe they have the right plan to increase tourism and the promotion of the state.

"I going to look at working with GNO Inc., working with LED [La. Department of Economic Development] to make sure we attract more non-stop international flights to New Orleans because that will bring international travelers. They'll stay 10 to 14 day,s we can spread them out throughout the entire state,” Young said.

"We can grow tourism 10 percent a year for the next four years, create 66,000 jobs and add $400 million to the economy. I believe we can do that by promoting industries we've never promoted before,” said Nungesser.

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