When you're three weeks away from an election, naturally, the gloves start to come off.  We're seeing that in the Shreveport Mayor's race.  And now, candidates running against US Senator John Kennedy are voicing their concerns about Kennedy not being available for debates or forums.

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According to a recent report on NOLA.com, Kennedy was invited to participate in an LPB debate on October 20th.  After Kennedy declined, LPB cancelled their plans for the debate.  When asked about his availability for debates and forums, Kennedy told KEEL News on Thursday morning:

Well, you have to consider the source of the reporting. First of all, my first job, my main job is to represent my people in Washington. I don't have control of our schedule, Senator Schumer, the Democratic leader does.  He adjourned Congress, as is his right, about 2 or 3 weeks ago... my staff and I sat down and said "OK, we've got however many weeks it is... 5 weeks, 6 weeks to cover the state."   And I've been working really hard to do that.

Kennedy went on to tell KEEL News:

I get probably, I don't know, 10 requests a day.... We're looking at the various debate proposals, and what you have to understand, when you're in a campaign, and I've been in a couple, you get all these requests, and they call them debates or forums, and some of these forums are conducted by people that are paritsan, they have an axe to grind, and they want you to drive 4 hours to speak to 12 people.

Kennedy defended his busy schedule outlining his recent and upcoming events.

Monday of this week, maybe someday last week I was in Baton Rouge giving a speech, I was in New Orleans giving a speech, I was in Houma giving a speech... I'm headed to Baton Rouge today to make some more campaign commercials.   Tomorrow I'm speaking in Lafayette, Saturday I'm going to be at the Rice Festival in Crowley.  Monday I'm going to be in the Monroe area for Congresswoman Julia Letlow, we're having a big rally... I'm heading over after that to Shreveport, then Stonewall, then I'm going to DeRidder...  Kennedy continued:  It's sort of an allocation of scarce recources... you only have a limited amount of time.

Senator Kennedy is leading in most polls, some by as much as 40 points.  Most predict Kennedy will retain his seat, winning outright without the need for a run-off.  So why would he debate the other candidates?  Why give other candidates much needed exposure?  As Senator Kennedy himself said, he's been in 'a few campaigns.'  It might be frustrating if you're a candidate running against him, but.. RHIP.

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