Pair of candidates with long history battling for votes
BATON ROUGE - Two experienced lawmakers with a long history met for a forum at Monday's Baton Rouge Press Club.
Cleo Fields and Pat Smith are in a heated race for the State Senate District 14 seat—it's not the first time the two have faced each other.
"I ran against Mr. Fields in 2003," Smith said. "He didn't talk with me for three years, I don't know if he remembers that."
They're running for a seat that Fields held two different times before.
"I didn't want to run against an incumbent, I didn't want to take a seat from anybody," Fields said. "I decided to run once the seat was vacant."
The forum got testy when Fields was accused of not living in the district anymore.
"I was looking forward to the challenge because my domicile is 5347 Hollywood," Fields said.
"It's a loophole in the law," Smith responded. "I think it's important when you do want to run for office, then you should live with the people you want to represent."
Questions also turned personal, digging up an old accusation.
"I never sold my people out. I will never sell my people out, " Smith said.
Smith was referring to when Fields suspected of taking money from Gov. Edwin Edwards in the 1990s, sparking an investigation by the FBI.
"If I had done something illegal, they would have indicted me," Fields fired back. "They didn't. Not because they were doing me a favor, but because I didn't do anything wrong."
The former congressman was first elected the state senate in 1988.