Rep. John Bel Edwards conclusively defeated David Vitter in tonight’s debate, the last ahead of this Saturday’s run-off election for governor. True to form, Edwards displayed a superior command of the facts and issues facing Louisiana voters, and a strength of character forged by his years of service. Vitter, by contrast, grew increasingly shrill and desperate, clinging to disingenuous attack lines and outright lies. On issue after issue, Edwards offered clear answers and concrete solutions to the challenges we face — while Vitter failed to articulate even basic policy proposals.

With five days remaining in the race, Vitter’s desperation and panic were thrown into sharp contrast with the even, steady leadership shown by John Bel Edwards. Face to face with the West Point graduate and veteran his campaign has devoted such obscene amounts of money to attacking, Vitter betrayed his own weakness of character and resorted to still more lies. Vitter doubled-down on the lies and falsehoods that have become the hallmark of his campaign, and lost the debate in the process.

“David Vitter is a liar and a cheat, and Louisiana families can’t trust him,” said Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “As he proved once more tonight, there is nothing David Vitter won’t say to get elected, no lie too low or too ugly. Louisiana deserves better. Voters deserve a leader they can trust.”