Gubernatorial Debate

Rep. Ralph Abraham speaks during the Gubernatorial debate on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in the Student Union Theater.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican Louisiana governor candidate Ralph Abraham has abandoned his claims to avoid intraparty fighting and is taking more direct hits at GOP contender Eddie Rispone.

With early voting underway, the third-term congressman has released an ad calling Rispone desperate and saying Rispone is lying to voters about Abraham's record.

The 30-second spot comes two weeks after Rispone, a businessman, launched an attack ad about Abraham's congressional votes and challenging his support for President Donald Trump.

At the time, Abraham said his focus would remain on defeating Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards, not returning fire on Rispone. But since then, some polls show Rispone gaining ground and even surpassing Abraham ahead of the Oct. 12 election.

Abraham has responded with more criticism of Rispone in forums and the latest ad.

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