Lieutenant governor candidate Billy Nungesser has backed out of two upcoming forums with incumbent Jay Dardenne, campaign and event representatives said Thursday.
Nungesser scrapped a Pachyderms of Greater Baton Rouge event set for Friday evening as well as one sponsored by the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday afternoon because of “scheduling conflicts,” campaign spokeswoman Amy Jones said.
“He is committed to attend an event for a charity foundation in New Orleans on Friday night and has a fundraising lunch on Monday,” Jones said.
Nungesser, who is president of Plaquemines Parish, is challenging the re-election bid of Dardenne in the Oct. 22 elec-tion. Both Nungesser and Dardenne are Republicans.
Dardenne, a former secre-tary of state, won a special election for lieutenant governor last year to fill a vacancy created when Mitch Landrieu became New Orleans mayor. He is seeking his first four-term term.
The word surprised Harold LaCour, vice president of the Pachyderms group. He said as of Wednesday when he talked to a campaign scheduler Nungesser’s appearance was on.
A reporter first advised him that Nungesser would not at-tend. “He sure didn’t tell me about it,” said LaCour on Thursday.
“We put publicity out in good faith. Now what do I do? Do you go in and tell all those people not to come,” said LaCour. He said he had a near full to capac-ity audience ready to hear the candidates on the issues.
After talking with Nungesser’s scheduler, LaCour said the campaign wanted to send a representative instead.
LaCour said the event will go on without Nungesser.
The Nungesser campaign also notified the Press Club that the candidate would not ap-pear, after first accepting, said Kimberly Vetter, a Press Club vice president and a reporter with The Advocate.
“We are trying to convince him to come,” Vetter said.