BRAC Expands Qualifying Threshold for Televised Mayoral Forum

Forum will focus on issues facing the future

Baton Rouge, La. (October 12, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced that it will invite all candidates polling above 1 percent to its 2020 East Baton Rouge Mayoral Forum on Tuesday, October 13. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. and will be carried live on WVLA NBC Local 33, WGMB Fox 44, and Talk 107.3. Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Steve Carter, E. Eric Guirard, Representative Denise Marcelle, Jordan Piazza, and Councilman Matt Watson will participate.

The determining poll, conducted by JMC Analytics September 29-30, revealed that 19 percent of likely voters in East Baton Rouge Parish are undecided. “This is an important election in a highly unusual year. The goal of the forum is to focus on the pressing issues facing East Baton Rouge,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “Voters have not had access to candidates in ways they typically do to engage on issues and determine how they will be voting. With early voting starting on Friday, our forum may be the determining factor in that decision process, and for that reason we felt it appropriate to expand the qualifying threshold.”

Topline poll results are as follows:

  • Broome (Dem): 41 percent
  • Carter (Rep): 14 percent
  • Watson (Rep): 13 percent
  • Marcelle (Dem): 6 percent
  • Piazza (Rep): 4 percent
  • Guirard (Ind): 2 percent
  • Smith (Rep): <1 percent
  • Undecided: 19 percent

The live forum will focus on issue areas outlined in BRAC’s 2020 Mayoral and Metro Council Platform. The 10-point platform calls for a commitment from candidates to:

  1. Prioritize economic development and job creation, creating a unified vision to accelerate recovery from COVID-19
  2. Develop and drive significant financial investment into redevelopment and economic development in North Baton Rouge
  3. Improve and build traditional and multi-modal infrastructure
  4. Make it easier and more efficient to do business in and with the city-parish
  5. Aggressively drive redevelopment, blight abatement, and public maintenance
  6. Advance civic enhancement projects that will improve EBR’s quality of place
  7. Increase the number of people earning high-quality, industry-based credentials via EmployBR’s workforce development services
  8. Lower the crime rate and increase public trust in law enforcement
  9. Manage an equitable and transparent separation of the City of St. George, if the court challenge fails
  10. Foster a culture of transparency and accountability

In addition to being aired live on television, the forum will be live streamed via BRProud’s Facebook page and website, and broadcast live on Talk 107.3. The forum will also be recorded. 

The primary election will take place on November 3, and early voting will begin on October 16. 

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at  


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