(KSLA) - Republican Michael Johnson and Democrat Marshall Jones will face one another Saturday in a runoff for Louisiana's 4th Congressional District seat.
Following is how the contenders stand on some key issues.
1) On the federal budget, both men agree that federal spending is out of control and cuts need to be made to help the economy. They both said they'd like to see a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
Jones: "A great idea would be to get the 4 or 5 leading accounting firms in the country to come into Congress and do a forensic audit on what is going on there and come up with a report and tell us what all is going on there and what we don't need. We have so many federal programs that need to be cut, we have so many regulations that cost a lot of money, and we have to get our economic world in tow."
Johnson: "The problem is we're spending too much, the government is too large, it does too many things. And what it does, it doesn't do very well. We've got to look at ways to reduce the size and scope of government and get our spending under control. We've got more than a $19 trillion federal debt, and it's virtually impossible for our children, our grandchildren to pay it off unless we get it reigned in very quickly."
2) On why each is the best fit for Washington, D.C.
Jones: "What the voters see out there is the 'R' and 'D' may not matter as much as experience. We have a president-elect who had a great message out there of economic abandonment. And that's something I saw years ago in the 4th Congressional District where jobs have been lost, and rigs have been stacked and literally thousands of people are unemployed now from good-paying jobs they had just years ago. And that's one of the reasons that prompted me to get into the race. And me, a businessman, and as a business lawyer who has experience in the oil and gas business, and health care, and banking and construction, things that I've been involved in for 40 years, I think a lot of people see me as having experience that matters."
Johnson: "I have a record over the last 20 years of actually defending the conservative principles that the voters of this district really support. And now that we've had the presidential election and the momentum moving in favor of conservative values and conservative principles, I think the district needs to send someone there who can fight for those, has a record of doing it and can be a part of the new reforms. I really feel like our country has been given another chance, and we need to be a part of that going forward. And the only way to do that is to send a conservative Republican to Washington to be a part of the big change, the big movement. And we're looking forward to that opportunity."
3) On bipartisan cooperation.
Johnson: "We can work in a bipartisan fashion across the aisle to get big things done and advance big ideas. The way we do that is by working together cooperatively. I've often said you can compromise on some preferences and some policies but never on core principles. I think Mike Huckabee said one time, 'I'm a conservative, but I'm not mad at anybody about it,' right? It's the way that you approach things and treat people with respect. And that way we can sit down around a table and arm wrestle over what's best for the American people."
Jones: "It doesn't matter whether it's a Republican idea or Democratic idea, the left and the right have never mattered to me. It's all about moving forward, who has the best idea, who has the best plan, who can make the best changes that will bring about economic growth. And those are the things that I understand innately. And what I do all day every day, it doesn't have a lot of regard to political parties. If the Republican Party has a good plan, I'm going to be right there with them. If the Democrats don't have a good plan, I will perhaps not be in favor of what they want to propose. It's going to be what's in the best interest of the 4th Congressional District and the people who live here."
4) On the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, Johnson and Jones both agree they would like to see it repealed.
Johnson: "I'd like to repeal the thing in its entirety, but there are some provisions that they will probably fine-tune. There's a lot of ideas on the table right now, a lot of excitement about our real potential to get this done even in the first 100 days of the new administration. And I think there's going to be the political will to do it. So the details are yet to be sorted out, but I'm delighted to see that I think there will be a broad bipartisan consensus to make a change in that, and we need to. Not only is it important for the health care of almost every American, but also for the nation's economy, because Obamacare has been too costly, unaffordable, unworkable. It's also unpopular, and that's why I think we'll be able to get it done."
Jones: "Bipartisan support for replacement of either a large part or all of Obamacare is what's going to have to take place. It's not working. And it's not working so much for political reasons that everyone wants to identify, it may not be working for economic reasons. And so we need to make it better and go to work immediately to do that."