TODAY: Voters to decide between Troy Carter, Karen Carter Peterson in congressional race election

Second District Congressional Race

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Voters in Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district will decide on Saturday whether Sen. Troy Carter or Sen. Karen Carter Peterson ascends to Capitol Hill to represent them.

The district is heavily African American and includes the city of New Orleans, parts of Jefferson Parish, and portions of Baton Rouge.

Cedric Richmond stepped down from the District 2 seat to become a senior adviser to President Joe Biden.

Both Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson are Democrats serving in the state senate.

They both point to their experiences in discussing why they are right for the job in Congress.

“Clearly because I’ve got a body of work of experience of legislation passed, advocacy fought for, community involvement that demonstrates a lifetime commitment of working with communities of all peoples,” said Troy Carter.

“I believe that people should go to the polls on April 24th this Saturday and vote for someone who’s going to be bold and courageous in the fight for them in Washington,” said Karen Carter Peterson.

Both support legalizing marijuana.

“We need to legalize cannabis, we need to tax it and regulate it and reinvest in the communities that have been criminalized by it,” Sen. Karen Carter Peterson stated.

And in an interview with FOX 8, Sen. Troy Carter said he thinks marijuana should be legalized.

“I do, and I in fact have made that a major part of my platform. I’ll take it a step further when this particular legislation came before the Senate, I voted for legalizing marijuana for cancer patients.”

The two candidates also support raising the minimum wage.

Sen. Carter Peterson says she favors hiking it beyond $15. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.

“I think it’s really important for people to be able to sustain their families and be able to put a roof over their head and if you do the math on $15 an hour which is certainly something that I support increasing the minimum wage to $15, it’s about $30,000, a little over $30,000 a year and that’s not enough to keep a roof over peoples’ head and to keep food on the table,” she said.

Sen. Troy Carter points to what he achieved on the minimum wage this week at the state capitol and said he would keep fighting in Washington.

“Just yesterday I advanced out the Senate Labor Committee the first-ever $15 an hour minimum wage tied to CPI index that passed the Labor Committee and it’s headed to the Senate floor on a bill that I wrote and authored,” said Sen. Carter.

The candidates have positions on other issues.

“I’ve been fighting to make sure that we have a cleaner environment. I support a Green New Deal. I’m supporting Medicare for all because I believe that healthcare is a human right and it should be universally covered and people shouldn’t have to pay high co-pays and premiums and so I am the progressive candidate in this race, let’s be really clear,” said Carter Peterson.

Troy Carter also supports Medicare for all and the Green New Deal. But he believes the Green New Deal in its current form needs to be tweaked.

“The Green New Deal is not a piece of legislation although some would make you think it is, the Green New Deal is a framework. It’s essentially a white paper with some really good ideas on it but like many paperwork it requires some tweaking, I’ve said that from day one, some have suggested that you can only be all or none, but life isn’t that way,” said Carter. “The Green New Deal in its present form would devastate Louisiana. For example, one of the main things it would do if you took the Green New Deal in its complete present form, it would do away with the monies that we receive for our coastal restoration.”

Both candidates have attacked each other in campaign mailers. Carter was asked about one of his mailers that questions Karen Carter Peterson’s honesty.

“I can go down the line, she says that I don’t care about women’s issues, yet I have authored the only bill ever to create the Office of Women’s health,” said Carter. " I have passed and fought for higher standards of training for police officers yet she consistently sends out flyers, mailers, tweets, television commercials saying these things that I don’t care about young black men, well, I am a black man and I’ve got two sons who happen to be black men and I care about them and I will fight to make sure that no rogue police officer every gets a gun or a badge,” said Troy Carter.

Karen Carter Peterson has a mailer that suggests that Troy Carter is aligned with Republican former President Donald Trump.

“It’s false, it’s false and you know I’m chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus,” said Sen. Carter.

He was asked if Karen Carter Peterson is lying to the public by trying to link him to Trump.

“She is absolutely lying about me being aligned with President Donald Trump. That is a bald-faced lie and it is a complete act of desperation,” said Troy Carter.

Karen Carter Peterson was asked about Troy Carter denouncing her mailer as a lie.

“Well, I’m not sure why he says that it is not true because there is a Trump Republican PAC, it’s called the American Jobs and Growth Pac, you can check yourself in Google and that PAC is attacking me and that’s true,” said” Carter Peterson. “There is a gentleman who is the former chair of the Trump 2016 Campaign that is supporting his candidacy and contributed to his campaign, so it’s absolutely the truth.”

Sen. Carter says he is proud to have broad support.

“My response is when you are elected, you’re elected to represent everyone. We don’t have the luxury of only representing people that are in our party or even people that only support us. A true statesman, an elected official represents the entire district,” said Troy Carter. “I’m proud of the support I’ve gotten across the board, I’ve gotten support from Democrats, Republicans, independents, that denotes a person that’s able to unify.”

Carter Peterson did not back down from her comments that her opponent has Republican support.

“The 2nd congressional district is a district, if you look at the district it is majority Democrat, it is majority progressive and I think that my values and the values that I’ve espoused throughout this campaign and throughout the term that I’ve served are the values that represent the district,” said Carter Peterson.

Troy Carter says he is honoring his pledge not to take money from the oil and gas industry and has returned contributions that slipped through and made it to his campaign.

“When we identify money that comes to us, that came from a place that I’ve rejected like the petro-chemical companies we’ve returned it,” said Sen. Troy Carter. “This notion that some of the PACS that are supporting her have suggested that I haven’t done that is blatantly unfair and false. When we identify funds, we signed the pledge, we signed the pledge to make sure that we were not going to take fossil fuels, funds from fossil-fuel companies, I’ve honored that, some get in, we’ve returned them.”

Carter Peterson said on the topic, “I’m not standing with the polluters, I’m standing with the people. This is about making sure that folks have a safe community and if you’re going to be for safe streets then certainly you should be for criminal justice reform. I believe that Louisiana has the highest rate in mass incarceration, we need to reduce that, we need to end private prisons.”

Her campaign said she also no longer works with the Dentons Law firm which has among its clients the oil and gas sector.

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